For long time breeder Mike Hirst, the win of Jimmy The Bear over 1400m at Flemington last Saturday was a by-product of his passion to breed a VRC Derby winner, a feat he went agonisingly close to achieving with Southern Moon in 2019.
Hirst is hoping that the Patrick Payne-trained three-year-old can continue to add to his impressive record of three wins and a second from six starts
“We are hoping he can keep going the way he is going,” Hirst said.
“He has sort of shown that maybe he is not at the top class but I think for this time of the year he’ll go all right.”
Hirst warns that the background to his aim of breeding a Derby winner is a lengthy one and includes sourcing a specially bred mare and stallions by Sadler’s Wells.
“I had this breeding theory around this mare called Lalun who won a Kentucky Oaks (1955) and was the dam of Never Bend and Bold Reason who ran second and third in the Kentucky Derby,” he explained
“And Never Bend is of course the sire of Mill Reef and Riverman, and Bold Reason is the dam-sire of Sadler’s Wells, so I was trying to breed a Derby winner.
“I thought I’ll try and find a mare who is a direct descendant of Lalun and I spent a lot of time on the stud books back in 1990-something and there were only three in Australia and one of them was a two-year-old filly in Rockhampton and it hadn’t had a start.”
A quick phone call was made to connections, with Hirst saying he knew they paid $11,000 for the then unraced filly at sales but he was willing to pay $20,000.
He was quickly told no and that the filly was going to be a really good horse.
“It had its first start and ran fourth and I rang him up and I said I’ll give you $15,000 and he said no, no, it’s going to be good,” Hirst said.
“I said all right and I think it ran sixth its next start and I rang back and said I’ll give you your $11,000. He said no and I said all right but I want to buy it and every time you run it and if it doesn’t win I’m going to take $1000 off the price.”
The connections soon changed their minds and Hirst bought the filly, which had one third in seven starts, for about $3000.
Named River Royal, she was by River Of Light (USA) and out of Royalty Plus (USA) which was by King Pellinore (USA).
“I just started to breed her to stallions that had Riverman or Bold Reason in them so I could get sort of start getting back to Lalun,” Hirst said.
“I have sort of stuck with that family throughout and from a $3000 mare she gave me a Grand Annual winner in Awakening Dream (Aristotle) and Prince of Scribes (Runyon) who won a Moonee Valley 3000m stayers cup and then on it goes on through her and her offspring.”
Hirst said he went close to getting a VRC Derby winner with Southern Moon (Puissance De Lune) which finished second in the 2019 edition of the Group 1 race.
The gelding’s dam South Street (Street Cry x On Southbank) was also bred by Hirst and won a Terang maiden. On Southbank (Festival Hall) was the second foal out of River Royal.
Unfortunately, Southern Moon never raced after the Victoria Derby which was his sixth start and retired with $436,750 in the bank.
A chip in the knee was fixed and didn’t cause any problems but then he injured a tendon, followed by another tendon and despite 12 months of rehabilitation, he broke down again last week after two months back in work and was immediately retired.
Jimmy The Bear continues to fly the flag for the family.
The gelding is out of Belvedere Road (Street Boss x On Southbank).
Hirst has also bred a full sister to Jimmy The Bear, but the broodmare missed to Nostradamus in 2019 and Puissance De Lune in 2020 but is now in foal to Omaha Beach.
“The full sister is a two-year-old and is just sort of kicking things off with Ben O’Farrell who is just a new trainer who manages my farm,” Hirst said.
“Her first foal by Nostradamus, a colt, had something wrong with his hock, and he is just in the back paddock keeping the weanlings company.”
Trained by Mitch Freedman, Belvedere Road won four races, including a dead heat for first at Sandown.
Hirst said he’d bred more than 50 horses and rates his best as Southern Moon and Tubular Bells (Palace Music x Ann’s Belle) who won his first five starts and then ran a narrow second in the Adelaide Cup and then won his next start at Caulfield. He won six races from his nine starts.
His farm is at Mannerim, between Drysdale and Ocean Grove.
“Ben O’Farrell is the farm manager down there and he has got a breaking and training business which he runs from there,” he said.
Hirst is deputy chairman of the Racing Victoria Board and says racing is a great passion and for him, it’s enjoyable to be able to contribute.
Hirst grew up playing football for Frankston YCW in the Mornington Peninsula League. In 1978 and 1979 the team’s fullback line comprised Jimmy Bruin, who later played a lot of games for Frankston in the VFA, and was the changing ruckman in the back pocket. Hirst was at fullback, while Micky “The Bear” Wright was in the other back pocket.
“So the horse was named after those two – Jimmy and The Bear,” Hirst said.
“I gave each of them five per cent and they are thrilled. I didn’t get along to Flemington on Saturday unfortunately as I had to be interstate but Jimmy and The Bear went along and they had a ball.”
Hirst was managing director of the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank for nine years.
He sits on a few boards in Victoria, including AMP and admits it keeps him busy.
“I put a couple through the sales,” he said.
“My intention has always been to breed to sell but being so busy with work and all that it’s hard to get everything done.
“I am probably more set up to sell to Hong Kong. I sold Jimmy The Bear to Hong Kong before he ran in that Listed race (the Amanda Elliott) at Flemington for $400,000 but he didn’t pass the vet test.
“Southern Moon, I got offered $2 million from Hong Kong for him after the Derby but he chipped his knee.
“It costs a lot of money to do this sort of stuff and believe me, I am down the drain so if you can sell one or two a year for that sort of money then it pays its way.
“Although Jimmy didn’t pass the vet test, he has now won $200,000 so he has only got to do that a couple more times.”
Hirst said the great part of racing was doing it with mates.
“I have raced a lot of horses with Andrew Payne over the years and when he was not that old, he was in his early 20s, he was training a hose for me called Prince Of Scribes,” he said.
“He was a handy horse, Ciaron Maher used to ride him in trackwork as he was working for Andrew and ended up taking a share in him.
“I owned the horse outright and before he had a start Andrew rang me and said this horse goes all right and said are you sure you want to race it by yourself.
“I told him I’d had that many that went terrible so why would I want to put them into something that goes good he said it’s bloody hard to have fun on your own.
“And he was right. I put a few of my mates in him and we had a ball.”
Hirst has eight broodmares and is still hopeful that he’ll have another VRC Derby runner.
Southern Moon’s dam South Street has been back to Puissance De Lune three times, and also has a colt by Jimmy Creed, and is in foal to Ghaiyyath.

We are pleased to welcome Justin Darcy to Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria (TBV) in his new role as the Media & Marketing Officer.

Justin has always had a passion for racing and the thoroughbred, attending races since he could walk, where he quickly developed a love for the horse.

One of his first loves in racing, a horse named Charles In Charge, a gelding that his parents partially owned. Justin would be allowed to take the odd day off of school in his home town of Traralgon to attend the races as all he would do is talk about ‘Charlie’.

“Charlie will always hold a special place in my heart and is a big reason why I have landed the experience and opportunities I have to this date,” Justin said.

“I remember when I was 12, walking out of school and thinking I hope Charlie jumped out well today.

“Given that I am from Traralgon, it was hard to get to the races every weekend. He took both my parents and myself for an awesome ride as we attended the majority of his 30-odd race starts.”

Recently Charles in Charge, who was raced by Dream Thoroughbreds, was featured in a segment about OTT horses organised through the Melbourne Racing Club.

When Justin was 14 and 15, racing was constantly on in the background and he started talking to industry participants in racing media, knowing that working somewhere in racing was his dream.

In year ten, Justin completed his work experience with then Caulfield trainer John Sadler, and was learning how to clock horses, and the process of how horses are worked in the early hours of the morning, before watching and taking in the vet process of a thoroughbred.

“Working with John Sadler was a great opportunity for me to learn the reality of some participants. It is not just the glitz and glam you see on TV,” Justin stated.

“Although it was only one week of work, it opened my eyes and made me realise how much participants love their horses and dedication they have to this sport, something I truly admire.”

Justin would spend his Thursday and Friday mornings before school studying form and looking into the basics of pedigrees of horses running on the metropolitan Saturday meeting. That is where his interest sparked in the breeding side of the industry.

In 2019, freshly out of his Year 12 studies, Justin was presented the opportunity to work as an editor for a freshly developed website,, where he was required to provide race previews and interview some of racing’s leading participants.

Justin also began work in 2019 with the Melbourne Racing Club as a Racing Officer along with joining the team at as a social media freelancer, both of which he is still doing on a casual/contract basis on weekends and week nights.

Fast forward 12-months and Justin was director of This was an opportunity which ultimately led to meeting with former TBV Executive Officer Charmein Bukovec, who quickly took Justin under her wing, giving him both media and marketing tasks under the TBV brand.

“My stint with Buy A Racehorse lasted a touch over 12-months, but it was a true blessing as taking on this role led me to meet Charmein in a webinar that I conducted,” Justin mentioned.

“The opportunity Charmein has given me over the last year is something I will be forever grateful for.

“Everything she has taught me to date and shown me about the breeding industry is invaluable and given I am still seen as a young guy in the industry, she has trusted me and treated me as if I have been in the game for 20-years.”

In 2021, Justin was named the join-recipient of the Victoria Racing Media Association (VRMA) Black Caviar Scholarship, where he has undertaken work experience with Michael Sharkie at Leneva Park, Nick Quinn at RSN & Sky Racing, along with participating in the VRMA Awards, actively engaging in the awards process.

Justin has been working seven-day weeks for the last 18-months, always looking to engage in opportunities to learn all facets of the industry in both breeding and racing. He has undertaken recent work at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale and Inglis Chairman’s Sale, working alongside Charmein with more responsibility on his shoulders.

“I cannot wait to get stuck into this new role with TBV, with my priority always being to impact the industry positively.”

We are excited to have Justin on board more permanently at TBV as our new Media & Marketing Officer, and we wish him the very best of luck.

To contact Justin, please refer to the following details:

Mob: 0411366049


A perennial source of quality racehorses, Victoria’s Larneuk Stud has unveiled its lineup for spring: a diverse quartet whose own sires have produced 534 stakes winners of $750 million.
Heading up the team is Lope de Vega’s multiple Group 2 winner ENDLESS DRAMA who is poised to cover his second book of mares at Larneuk. Embraced by breeders in 2021, the Apollo Stakes winner and Group 1 Stradbroke placed sprinter/miler covered an impressive book in his initial book and, according to Larneuk Stud’s Neville Murdoch, took to it like a duck to water.
“Fortunately, local breeders got to see him finish third behind Winx in the Apollo and then win it the next year, along with a terrific third in the (Group 1) Stradbroke, but he was also a dual Group 2 winner across the pond in New Zealand and, earlier in his career, multiple Group 1 placed the United Kingdom behind absolute superstars like Gleneagles and Belardo,” Murdoch points out. “Breeders know all about his sire Lope de Vega too, courtesy of Santa Ana Lane, Gytrash, Vega Magic and co., but he’s been on absolute fire over the last 12 months with Vega One winning the Group 1 (Kingsford Smith) in Brisbane … 24 stakes winners since last May … and 200 winners – incredible. And we’ve got one of the few sons of his standing in Australia. Absolutely can’t wait for his first foals because if they’re anything like him we’ll be over the moon.”
Endless Drama’s fee for 2022 remains unchanged at $8,800 … excellent value for a stallion of this calibre.
Also gearing up for his second season at the picturesque Larneuk is Snitzel’s proven performer, WANDJINA, who has likewise been far from idle since shifting south.
Typical of so many stallions, Wandjina appears to be doing his best work after relocation to Victoria. A Group 1 Australian Guineas winner who already had runs on board with progeny such as Group 2 winning 2YO and Golden Slipper placed, Mamaragan, Wandjina’s ‘tally’ since his arrival at Larneuk includes Group wins to Wandabaa, a Moonee Valley stakes win for Express Pass, a stakes victory for Tiger Road, multiple stakes placings for Tramonto, stakes performances for Wolf Moon and a host of city winners.
At $6,600, there are few better value stallions in the country.
Speaking of excellent value, stakes producers CLUSTER and WOLF CRY both stand at $3,300 in 2022.
A Group 2 winning son of Champion Sire and sire of sires, Fastnet Rock, Cluster has a penchant for producing early comers – as Group 2 Silver Slipper runnerup, Rocket Tiger and stakes-placed 2YO Gee Gees Darl would testify.
Meanwhile, WOLF CRY – a multiple stakes-placed 2YO by Winx’s sire Street Cry (134 stakes winners) – has done an exceptional job despite limited runners, which include stakes-placed 2YO, General Wolffe and the Group placed 2YO Wolves.
For further information, phone Neville Murdoch on 0418 105 706.

Endless Drama $8,800
Wandjina $6,600
Cluster $3,300
Wolf Cry $3,300

Lincoln Square ridden by Jye McNeil wins the Thomas North Handicap at Caulfield Racecourse on May 07, 2022 in Caulfield, Australia. (Brett Holburt/Racing Photos)

Businessman Lionel Krongold has lost count of the number of horses he’s bred over the years but estimates it would be in the hundreds.
And he hopes the one that Cranbourne trainer Greg Eurell produced for him at Caulfield on Saturday will be the best of them.
The two-year-old Lincoln Square, which nearly died after complications when gelded, couldn’t have been more impressive when scoring a two-length win on debut over 1200m.
Krongold knows what it’s like to own a good horse. He bought Soho Square as a yearling and the son of Jugah went on to win six Group races, highlighted by the Group 1 Doncaster Handicap (1600m) in 1992 when then apprentice Patrick Payne rode the gelding at 47.5kg.
The following year Soho Square went from being the bottom weight to the top weight in the Doncaster with 56kg and finished a narrow second.
Trained by Ian “Skinny’’ Saunders at Epsom, Soho Square was retired in 1995 after nine wins and $1.4 million in the bank.
Krongold established his thoroughbred stud Talwood Park at Whittlesea.
And while the property was sold by Krongold more than 20 years ago, he continues to breed a few to mainly race.
Lincoln Square is by Swettenham Stud stallion Rubick and out of the mare Redasun (Haradasun x Redouteski) which Krongold also bred and was trained by Eurell.
Krongold said it’s exciting to see the horse win after nearly losing him twice last year.
“I don’t breed many these days but I used to when I had Talwood Park for years,” he said.
“I started it up in 1978 and I was breeding horses in Victoria for years and years and I think age got the better of me. At the end of the era, I had Peter Morgan as my stud manager and trainer.
“It was good times and it was a good time when Soho Square won the Doncaster with Skinny Saunders.”
Krongold said they planned the mating between Rubick with Redasun which won three city races.
“She was the daughter of a mare we had called Redouteski and she was a Redoute’s Choice filly that we never raced because every time she got up to fitness she got azoturia.”
Redouteski was a good producing mare for Krongold. As well as Redasan, the mare produced Rednav (Henrythenavigator) which won the Listed Grafton Cup (2350m) and another six races. Redcore (Choisir) won five races; Redsong (Dundeel) has won one race and is still racing. Unraced three-year-old La Perushka (Pierro) was sold to Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott for $260,000 at the 2020 Gold Coast Yearling Sale.
Redasan’s first foal to race, three-year-old Teser (Reset) was also retained by Krongold and has had three starts and won on debut at Sale last November for Eurell.
“She has had two races and both have won,” Krongold said.
“The first foal (Redadoo) she had by Toronado hurt herself in the padlock but she had the ability and it was a shame to see her get hurt and we had to retire her.
“After Teser, there was Lincoln Square and there is a Stratum Star colt and an Adelaide colt.
“I decided not to put her to foal last year because they were getting later and later. You don’t want to be putting them to stud in December as I don’t agree with that.
“You always have to give a mare a break somewhere.”
There have been plenty of approaches from studs putting the cases of their stallions to Krongold but at this stage, he is still studying the breeding line of perspective sires for Redasun.
A return to Rubick is among his options and consideration.
“Every stud will be happy to have her now,” Krongold said.
“The phone hasn’t stopped since Saturday.”
The unraced Redadoo will go to stud this year.
Krongold, who was an Essendon Football Club director for eight years, has former Western Bulldogs president David Smorgon in the ownership of the horses he races, along with Leon Serry.
While Soho Square is the best horse he has raced, Krongold is hoping that Lincoln Square will develop into the best one he’s bred.
“Not too many two-year-olds come out and do what he did on Saturday,” Krongold said.
“Especially what he went through four months ago.’’
Krongold said he resisted for as long as he could, not to geld Lincoln Square because he was so well-bred and showed good ability.
He said he had been sensible to choose between having a racehorse or a stallion that does nothing.
“We cut him and nearly lost him,” Krongold said.
“It was very close.”
And for Greg Eurell, the performance of Lincoln Square didn’t surprise him.
“He did a great job on Saturday,” he said.
“It’s quite extraordinary with what happened to him to bounce back and run as well as he did and pull it off and win first up in town.
“It was an enormous effort.”
Eurell said that all the way through Lincoln Square has had very good ability and is a big strong horse.
“He has a great personality but just needed gelding and was losing a bit of focus in his track work,” he said.
“It was a very routine gelding and everything went right. The next day he cleaned up good, ate up that night and then for some reason on about the fourth day he just started bleeding and it wouldn’t stop – it was bad.”
Eurell couldn’t believe the amount of blood coming from Lincoln Square when he dashed to the property where the newly gelded horse was agisting.
Fearing the horse would go down on the truck on the way to the equine hospital, it was a slow and careful drive to get veterinary assistance.
“Once we get there they were quite shocked when I got him off the truck,” he said.
With the aid of an old pacing mare as the blood donor, Lincoln Park was given a blood transfusion and received other veterinary help in a desperate bid to halt the bleeding and save his life, but he was only rated a fifty/fifty chance.
And Eurell wondered whether horses, like humans, need different blood types for a transfusion.
“The vet explained that horses have the unique ability to adapt,” he said.
“I think she said you can do it (transfusion) twice and then their system reacts to it.
“She pointed to the donor horse in one of the stalls and said it’s been getting a lot of work and has been used three or four times in the past fortnight.
“When she said it was an older pacer, I said couldn’t you give me one with fast blood. She had a bit of a laugh and it would have been good if there was Group 1 horse in the corner so we could have pulled a bit of blood out of it.”
Eurell said it was explained to him that once the horse regenerates its normal blood supply, it expels the foreign blood from its system.
“It’s incredible,” he said.
But there was more drama to come after Eurell collected the horse after about a week and decided to take him back to the stables to keep an eye on him.
But as the horse walked down the alleyway of the stables, he started bleeding again.
“So we just did a U-turn and put him on the truck and went back again,” he said.
“At that point, he looked dreadful. The poor horse had lost that much weight and he was unwell.
“But to his credit, he just bounced back and week after week you could see the improvement in him.
“He didn’t need another transfusion.”
While Lincoln Square’s blood profiles have not detected any irregularities, there was a fear the horse had a coagulation problem but the vets still don’t have a definitive answer to what caused the life-threatening bleeding.
With the horse back to full health and showing the enormous ability he possesses, Eurell said the main objective with Lincoln Square was to get a win to enable him a smooth passage into a few of the better races.
“Fortunately it couldn’t have worked out any better,” he said.
“He is out now and will probably have a month off.
“He’ll target some of those early three-year-old races and just see how he goes. If he is good enough we’ll try and track our way through to the Guineas.”
Eurell said if there is any suggestion that Lincoln Square can’t stretch out any further, he’ll have a crack at the good sprint races for three-year-olds during the carnival.
His dam Redasun won twice over 1600m and once at 1300m.

Prince Of Sussex ridden by Michael Dee wins the Ladbrokes Showdown at Caulfield Racecourse on April 27, 2019 in Caulfield, Australia. (Pat Scala/Racing Photos)

For a bloke who raced harness horses because he couldn’t afford a thoroughbred, Paul Dugan has experienced some pretty good luck since switching codes.
The move to thoroughbreds came when Dugan said he could afford it after becoming a little bit more financially stable after making some wise investments.
“I have always loved thoroughbreds and they’ve always been my number one passion but it was an affordability type of thing that I got into harness at first,” he said.
“And then once I got a little more financially secure I got into some thoroughbreds.”
Dugan has had some big results in the annual Victorian Owners and Breeders Race Day when Prince of Sussex won the inaugural running of The Showdown (1200m) – with a first prize of $522,500 in 2019.
The gelding was then sold to Hong Kong, where he races as Lucky Express, for $1.7m.
Dugan, again in unison with Mornington trainer Matt Laurie, raided the rich VOBIS meeting at Caulfield last month when Chartres picked up the $275,000 first prize on offer for the VOBIS Sires Guineas (1600m) for three-year-olds.
Both Prince of Sussex and Chartres are by Swettenham Stud stallion Toronado.
Dugan paid $145,000 for Prince of Sussex at the 2018 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale and bought Chartres direct from the gelding’s breeders who retained a quarter share.
“We only had Prince Of Sussex for three runs, and he won two lucrative races,” he said.
“It’s tempting to keep them because it’s hard to get a good horse and there is a lot that can go wrong with them.
“And when they are geldings, I suppose that attracts the Hong Kong buyers too.
“I just thought it was a lot of money to knock back. And a lot of my mates, I probably had five old school mates in him, and I thought if we sell and make a good profit then they’ll probably stay in the game for a while.
“And they have and they’ve followed me and bought a few other horses with me since then.”
Dugan owned the majority of Prince of Sussex.
His luck continued when he saw Chartres in the Inglis catalogue last year, but the horse was withdrawn when Covid disrupted the live auctions.
“I saw that it was bred at Swettenham so I rang Sam Matthews (stud general manager) and he said it wasn’t going through the ring,” Dugan said.

“When I spotted it, it was at the Premier Sale (catalogue) and he was quite a striking looking horse and he did remind me a bit of Prince Of Sussex.
“And when I went through the mare’s breeding and watched her races, it took me a little bit and Sam quite liked the horse as well and the breeders wanted to stay in which was quite good.
“The breeders kept 25 per cent of it and I took the rest and divided it between mates. Pretty much all of the Prince of Sussex people are in Chartres.
“It was only $40,000, so it wasn’t expensive.”
Professional pedigree analyst Kristen Manning and her co-breeders bred Chartres off a $22,000 service fee on a share foal basis with Swettenham Stud Principal Adam Sangster. The much in demand Toronado will stand at $88,000 this year, up from $49,500 last year.
After having success on the track, Dugan decided to buy a couple of broodmare mares which are kept at Swettenham Stud.
He admits the bug has well and truly got him with his “two and a half” broodmares.
Dugan owns half of Rainbow Girl and is the outright owner of Freeze The Charges and Ever And Ever.
Along with some mates, Dugan raced Rainbow Girl (Pierro x Free Spirited).
“We kept her to breed from and she had a Toronado colt which we sold as a weanling,” he said.
“She is in foal to Ghaiyyath.”
He bought the unraced Ever and Ever (Shooting To Win x Whateverwhenever) in foal to Toronado.
Dugan soon learnt that breeding is a tough game and admits doesn’t know he long he’d do it for.
“It’s not that easy,’’ he said.
“I more or less do it so I can race the horses with my mates, not so much to sell them.”
Dugan and his mates had a vote to decide whether to keep or sell the weanling Toronado colt out of Rainbow Girl, with the economics winning out.
He said being a first foal, the colt was a little small but they decided that the sale would pay for the next service fee and also the upkeep of the next foal until it is a two-year-old.
“So we’ll get the next one for free,” he said.
“It was a good opportunity and if it comes out and becomes a champion then we still have the mare. So there is no real downside.
“The one (Ever and Ever) I bought in foal to Toronado lost the foal after four or five days but I had a free return and she is back in foal to Toronado.
“I’d only been in the breeding game at that stage for about a year and then to lose one sort of knocked me around and I thought do I want to do this anymore.
“I can understand why people get frustrated with it and it can cost you $80,000 or something to get them to the sales and they are getting sold for fifty or sixty.”
While there are lots of stories where yearlings are sold for $300,000 or $400,000, Dugan said there are plenty of examples where they don’t make what they cost to get to the sales.
Dugan said Freeze The Charges (Ad Valorem x Deep Freeze) had a foal at foot by Exosphere when he bought the mare, but he finished up by losing the foal.
“It hit me pretty hard,” he said.
“I lost two in probably a year and a half. It is a tough game.”
Freeze The Charges has a colt by I Am Immortal and is in foal to Rubick and is so impressed with what I Am Immortal has produced that he’ll probably go back to the stallion this year.
Dugan said he hadn’t bred that great horse yet, the thing that every breeder wants to do.
He is hoping that Rainbow Girl might give him that horse.
Also trained by Laurie, the six-year mare had eight starts for two wins and two seconds. She was beaten half a length in the Listed Crockett Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley.
“She was a really good mare but we didn’t see the best of her because of a throat injury,” Dugan said.
“We thought she could have been a Group horse.”
It’s a similar story with Chartres’ dam The French House (Dylan Thomas x Deraismes) which was also poised for better races, also after eight starts for a win, a second and a third, but injury halted her career.
Dugan said he did have an enquiry from Hong Kong about Chartres and while he referred the agent to Laurie, they are keen to keep the horse.
“Everything is for sale of course but we want to keep on racing him,” he said.
“I cashed out once and I don’t want to do it again, but how can you say you won’t do it when they come to you with a ridiculous offer.
“It would probably be harder to let him go because we have made our money once.
“And this horse has made his money. You can’t buy that enjoyment they give you when they win a nice, lucrative race.
“The VOBIS Sires was a good race and was probably his target for six months.
“The horse has done an amazing job. When I bought him I thought he wouldn’t race until he is mid-three sort of thing which he is about now, but look what he has done.
“He was a November foal as well.”
Chartres won his second start, a two-year-old maiden (1206m) at Sale which Dugan said was amazing for a Toronado juvenile.
Although Chartres was unplaced over 1600m in the $500,000 The Coast (1600m) at Gosford last Saturday, Dugan said the three-year-old had done his job this preparation.
Now retired, Dugan was a printer at Southdown Press which produced many publications, including Best Bets and The Truth.
“This is just a little hobby,” he said.
“Breed a couple of and race them with my mates. I don’t want to sell too many of them.
“They basically pay me to get them to that stage.”
Dugan said his only provision is that he sends his mares to Victorian stallions and will support Swettenham as much as he can.
And with two big pay days from VOBIS races, it’s no wonder he is a massive supporter of the scheme.
“I love the VOBIS scheme and the VOBIS Gold,” he said.
“The VOBIS Sires Guineas which we just won, it was such a restricted race for good prizemoney. You are crazy if you don’t target it.”
There’s no doubt more and more trainers and owners will continue to target the big VOBIS races that offer bigger pay days.




Barb Raider (inside) was gallant in defeat in last Saturday's Australasian Oaks. (Brett Holburt/Racing Photos)

Victorian bred horses Barb Raider and My Whisper were both gallant in defeat in last Saturday’s Group 1 Australasian Oaks (2000m) at Morphettville, taken out by the Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young trained Glint of Hope.
Barb Raider (Rebel Raider x Graebarb), a homebred for Graeme Gathercole and trained at Mornington by Jerome Hunter, finished second, beaten a head.
The Yulong bred and raced My Whisper (Frankel x Hersigh), which started the $2.70 favourite, was aiming for her fifth consecutive victory and finished less than half a length from the winner in third position.
After failing on a heavy 10 in the Group 1 Queen of the Turf (1600m) at her last start, the front running Barb Raider faced a challenging task after drawing barrier 12 of 16 at Morphettville.
“The barrier made a difference,” Hunter said.
“We had to do a bit of work to get across.
“It would have been nice to have just lobbed out, and even if we did sit second, we wouldn’t have to have used her up so early.’’
The outside barrier was an obstacle that Hunter said wasn’t made any easier with the first corner coming up so quickly for horses drawn poorly.
“The first corner comes up about 100m after they jump,” he said.
“You have to get across pretty quickly, but it was still a great run, and we were very excited with the way she went.”
Leading into the race, Barb Raider beat home only three of the 14 runners in the Group 1 Queen of the Turf Stakes on the heavy 10 track at Randwick.
“In the Sydney run, she lost a shoe, and she wasn’t gassed out but just held back a bit because of how bad that track was,” Hunter said.
“She came through that Sydney run that well that I knew she was 100 per cent for last Saturday.”
Hunter said Barb Raider, who Craig Williams has ridden in all of her starts, would now head to the paddock for a spell as they aim her for some Spring races and hopefully claim a coveted Group 1.
“She is at that level now where there is not a hell of a lot of races,” Hunter said.
“Once you get to that level, all the horses seem to head for the same races.”
Hunter said while Barb Raider didn’t win, they were excited that the filly came second in a Group 1.
“While it’s disappointing, it’s still a win in a way,” he said.
“Another 30m, and she may have got her nose in front.
“This preparation she has come second in a Group 1, she has won a Group 2, won a Group 3 and was second in a Group 2.
“We are proud of her.”
Already a valuable mare, Hunter agrees that a Group 1 victory will further enhance her value and reputation at stud.
“We will be trying hard to get that Group 1,” he said.
Hunter is a private trainer for owner and breeder for Graeme Gathercole, whose family is in the meat business and has been breeding for more than 20 years.
Barb Raider, by the now-retired Rebel Raider (Reset x Picholine) is Gathercole’s best horse after claiming back-to-back Group races with the Group 2 victory Kewney Stakes (1600m) for three-year-old fillies in March
It followed her Group 3 victory in The Vanity (1400m) in March. She showed glimpses of her above ability in her last campaign with a third in the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) and a 2.2 lengths fifth in the Wakeful Stakes (2000m).
Bar Raider is out of the modestly performed mare Graebarb which is by Host, and out of the unraced mare Ardent Command.
Trained by Hunter, Graebarb had six starts for Gathercole and was placed as a two-year-old at Seymour and won a benchmark 55 at Corowa before two consecutive lasts forced her into retirement and a career in the breeding barn.
She slipped to Danerich in her first season and then produced Barb Raider.
Interestingly her next foal, the now unraced two-year-old Graewazi, is by a former stallion Our Wazi (Choisir x Nkwazi), which Gathercole bred but never raced because of injury.
Barb Raider is compiling an impressive record and has banked $628,175 from her record of 11: 4-3-2.
Yulong’s My Whisper is one of those horses that could have been racing in someone else’s colours and in a different stable than that of Paul and Peter Snowden at Flemington.
The three-year-old filly was one of five lots by Frankel withdrawn by Yulong from the Easter Yearling Sale in 2020 when the Covid pandemic hit.
And when round two of the sale came around, Yulong offered four Frankels, but three were passed in, including My Whisper, when she failed to make her $300,000 reserve.
Yulong took her home as a racing prospect and future broodmare. After finishing seventh on debut over 1125m at Geelong,
she returned from a 23-week spell with a first-up victory at Kilmore (1200m) and then won her next three, including the Group 3 Auraria Stakes (1800m) at Morphettville, before tackling the Australasian Oaks.
My Whisper is out Hersigh (Poet’s Voice x Zayn Zen). Hersigh was covered by Frankel in England and the mare was transported to Australia to have her first foal.
After producing My Whisper, Hersigh has a two-year-old filly by Snitzel and a yearling filly by Yulong stallion Grunt. She missed to Grunt in 2020 and was served by another Yulong stallion Lucky Vega (IRE), last spring.
Yulong owner Yuesheng Zhang is a big Frankel fan and has plenty of success with the stallion’s Chris Waller-trained mare, Hungry Heart, which was also the result of an overseas covering with the mare Harlech (Pivotal x Zoowraa) which was also brought to Australia to foal down.
The now four-year-old Hungry Heart has won two Group 1s – Australian Oaks and Vinery Stud Stakes and two Group 2s – Sweet Embrace Stakes and Phar Lap Stakes.
She was named the Australian Champion three-year-old of the year, and she was bought back by Zhang for $300,000 at the 2019 Gold Coast Yearling Sale.
So far, she has won $1.75m in prize money.
Harlech has also produced a three-year-old colt Duty Dynasty (Snitzel) and a two-year-old filly Beautiful Heart (Snitzel).
The mare was covered by Yulong’s new stallion Written Tycoon last season.

Regardsmaree ridden by Billy Egan wins the Ladbrokes Anniversary Vase at Ladbrokes Park Hillside Racecourse on April 30, 2022 in Springvale, Australia. (George Sal/Racing Photos)

No one has to tell owner and breeder Mark Schiavello about the highs and lows associated with breeding and racing horses.
It’s been a mixed bag for Schiavello and his co-owners with the horses they’ve raced over the past few weeks.
Schiavello and his crew bred Mynumerouno from a mare they raced (Splash of Moet ), and the three-year-old was one of the fancied runners in the $130,000 Super VOBIS handicap (1100m) earlier last month.
The gelding was eased out of the Caulfield race after suffering a bleed, earning an automatic three-month ban.
Then, a few days later, another horse that Schiavello bred from Splash Of Moet tore a suspensory ligament in track work and was retired.
Not all was lost.
A Victorian bred So You Think colt that Schiavello bought for $70,000 at the 2018 Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale on the advice of bloodstock agent Kevin Dagg has certainly helped restore some faith for all those involved.
The now five-year-old gelding Regardsmaree scored back-to-back wins in just seven days with a victory last Saturday in the Listed Anniversary Vase (1400m) at Sandown.
Just seven days earlier, Regardsmaree won the VOBIS Gold Sprint (1200m) at Caulfield.

Schiavello, who works in the corporate industry, was a first time breeder when he decided to send Splash of Moet (Dash For Cash x Storm Tossed) that he’d raced in partnership to stud with Vancouver after the mare received a life ban after she bled for the second time.
Schiavello said they felt that there was some unfinished business with the mare, which had won four races, so the ownership group decided to breed from her.
Mynumerouno (Vancouver) was the second foal out of Splash of Moet. Her first foal, Essoess), was also raced by Schiavello and his mates and had won four races for Newcastle trainer Mark Minervini before suffering that suspensory tendon injury.
After winning on debut, Mynumerouno finished third at Sandown, put together three consecutive city wins, and won the $125,000 Blue Fox Gold Eldorado (1200m) at Echuca in March.
Schiavello said they’re hopeful of getting Mynumerouno back to the track.
“You just have to see these things out, and you can’t let them get you down,” he said.
“But he has been a ripper, and he owes us nothing, and hopefully, we can get him right.”
In the meantime, Regardsmaree’s prize money climbed past $650,000 with victory at Sandown last Saturday in the Listed Anniversary Vase as the $2.60 favourite.
Just seven days earlier, Regardsmaree was a $20 outsider when he won the $280,000 VOBIS Gold Sprint (1200m) at Caulfield for Flemington trainer Nick Ryan and jockey Billy Egan.
Bloodstock agent Peter Ford has kept a special interest in Regardsmaree and the unraced dam Rossa Mia (Testa Rossa).
Ford took over the business and bloodstock management of Hillside Parade Racing and Breeding, based in Nagambie, in 2014 for businessman Peter Arvanitis.
“When I started up Hillside for Peter Arvanitis, I bought her (Rossa Mia) as an unraced three-year-old filly,” Ford said.
“I reckon she cost $45,000 from memory.
“It’s great to see that she has produced a pretty handy one. I did the mating, too, with So You Think, so it’s pleasing.”
Ford said he was the huge rap for High Chaparral and his sons, including So You Think, Tivaci, Toronado and Alpine Eagle in Tasmania.
“They are kind of everywhere,” he said.
Ford wound up his association with Hillside, which had taken drafts to Melbourne Premier, several years ago. Arvanitis later sold his bloodstock interests.
“We were producing a good dozen or so yearlings a year,” he said.
“And in the last year, we sold about $2.2 million worth of yearlings.”
Ford said Ross Mia was a beautiful filly, and he was a huge fan of Testa Rossa as a broodmare sire.
Rossa Maria’s dam Malapert (En Costa Delago x Brazenne) produced Stakes winners Malasun (Red Ransom) and Stokehouse (Anabaa).
The last horse bred by Hillside out of Rossa Maria is the now four-year-old gelding Yulong Justify, a winner of four winners. He was sold as a weanling in 2019 for $110,000 and then sold the following year as a yearling to Yulong for $180,000.
A Rich Enuff chestnut filly (Lingjun Treasure), now an unraced three-year-old, out of Rossa Maria, fetched $10,000 last year.
Schiavello snapped up Rossa Maria, in foal to Star Witness, for $60,000 in the digital sale earlier this year after being informed by Gippsland Bloodstock’s Phoebe Grass that the mare was on the market.
“Phoebe looks after all our younger horses, the weanlings and yearlings and the mare Splash of Moet,” he said.
“She identified that Rossa Maria was up for sale in an Inglis Digital sale earlier this year and reached out to me and asked if I’d be interested.
“I sent a note to the guys, and we were pretty keen, and then we were fortunate enough to get her but probably had to extend because we thought we’d get her from anywhere from $30,000 to $50,000 and then we had to extend to $60,000.”
Schiavello said that with Regardsmaree’s current form, in hindsight, it was probably the right decision to buy Rossa Maria.
He said they’d always had great faith in Regardsmaree and thought that perhaps things didn’t go the gelding’s way in his last preparation when he managed to two thirds from seven starts. In his previous campaign, he won four races, including three in succession in the city, from six starts.
“The racing game can be brutal where they can write horses off, but I always thought that So You Thinks are not at their best and until they are five and six, and we have been quite fortunate where he has now come out and won a VOBIS Gold feature race, and now he has won a stakes race,” he said.
While Schiavello said they originally thought they’d perhaps get Rossa Maria for a little cheaper, it’s probably offset by the fact that they picked up Regardsmaree for a lot less than what they thought.
“I selected him with Kevin Dagg, who I use for all our yearling purchases,” Schiavello said.
“Kevin identified him for me and was on a shortlist, and we had a look at him, I think it was late on the Saturday before the sale started on Sunday, and we just looked at each other and laughed and said we’ve got no chance of buying this.
“Kevin looked at me and said if this thing can’t run, then I am not here. I remember it vividly just the way the horse walked with a nice loose action, athletic and a good temperament, too, which wasn’t overly accurate, but that’s what he was showing then.
“But he was a cracker.”
After the horse was knocked down to Schiavello for $70,000, legendary horse assessor George Smith rang Dagg that night and said he couldn’t believe they’d bought the yearling for that price.
Dagg quickly rang Schiavello and asked him to put a percentage aside for him to be involved.
Schiavello and his racing partners have an unraced two-year-old, So You Think with Ryan. They also have a full brother to Mynumerouno and a half-brother yearling colt by Rubick. Splash Of Moet, which is in foal to Spirit of Boom, will go back to Vancouver, who is now standing at Woodside Park.
There are plenty of options for Regardsmaree’s next race.
Ryan and Egan have both mentioned the Group 1 Goodwood Handicap (1200m) on May 14 at Morphettville as an ideal next assignment, while there are a couple of good races closer to home.

Group 1 winner, Wooded to stand at Swettenham this season (Swettenham)

Swettenham Stud are thrilled to announce one of the most enviable rosters of stallions for the 2022 season.

In a tremendous coup for Australian breeding, ground breaking Group 1 winning sprinter WOODED (Wootton Bassett) will shuttle to Swettenham Stud on behalf of Al Shaqab, commencing in 2022. After recently being announced to the market, his book has already started filling up with confirmed bookings from some of Australia’s best breeders. Winner of the Group 1 Prix de l’Abbaye (1000m) and the fastest son of Wootton Bassett, he has already covered an exceptional book of mares with foals on the ground, of which 88% of the mares covered were either black type earners themselves, producers of black type progeny or out of black type horses. He will stand at an introductory fee of $22,000 incl GST.

Hot off Rubiquitous adding another new stakeswinner to his tally over the weekend, RUBICK (Encosta de Lago) returns to Swettenham Stud for his second season at a reduced service fee of $22,000 incl GST. In addition to averaging $200,000 at the Magic Millions sale this year, he also had a colt sell for $300,000 (ex Black Tulip) at Melbourne Premier. Rubick has over 170 rising 2yos from his best crop of mares that are about to enter the system as well as the incredibly exciting 2yo JACQUINOT who is destined for Group 1 glory after running a gallant, yet unlucky 3rd in the Blue Diamond.

HIGHLAND REEL (Galileo) returns to Swettenham Stud for his 5th season, having already sired a Group 2 winner from his first crop in Europe and some very strong performances from his Australian 2yos that are being targeted at the Classic races. Having covered an average of over 120 mares per season in his first four seasons, Highland Reel has it all ahead of him with the first of his SEVEN Group 1 successes being notched on his CV as a 3yo before going on to be crowned Champion Older Horse in Ireland. His yearlings continue to be in high demand with yearlings selling for $180k, $155k and $130k at Melbourne Premier. He remains at an unchanged service fee of $16,500 incl GST.

One of the best proven outcross stallions in Australia, PUISSANCE DE LUNE (Shamardal), continues to show his strength and versatility with the likes of stakes winning SPIRIT OF GAYLARD over 1800m as well as turf burner GAZE GRISE who smashed the clock in the 55 Second Challenge over 955m at Moonee Valley in recent months. The great grey son of Shamardal has 120 rising yearlings to be sold in 2023 and over 100 rising 2yos coming through. These biggest and best crops will be on the tracks as 3yo and 4yo by the time the progeny of the 2022 covered mares are being sold and at a reduced service fee of $14,300 incl GST, this is the best year to back your judgement.

Still the only dual Stakes-winning 2yo colt in Australia by I Am Invincible, I AM IMMORTAL is set to cover his third book of mares at Swettenham Stud after being heavily supported in his first two seasons. Averaging well over 100 mares per season in his first two seasons, the speedy son of I Am Invincible is set to be one of the most sought after first season sires at the yearling sales in 2023. Not only did he dominate on the track, his prepotent genes are dominating as demonstrated by his first foals who are strong, forward with great scope and great bone. Amazingly, he did not throw a single chestnut in his first crop of outstanding foals and at an unchanged service fee of $13,750 incl GST, he represents the best value sire of his crop in the year where the breeders get the best return on their investment.

Returning to Swettenham Stud for his 8th consecutive season is the all-conquering TORONADO (High Chaparral). In the sales ring, Toronado progeny averaged well over $210,000 at the major sales in 2022 with a record sale of $850,000 at Inglis Easter. His feats in the sales ring are matched on the racetrack with a further SIX new stakes-winners already this season, standing him at 7th on Sire Table for stakes-winners with less runners than all of those above him. Equalling with Zoustar as the youngest sire on the list, all of his success has come from a modest service fee of $22,000. After being fully booked for each of the past 4 season and a total of 24 stakes-winners to his name, Toronado stands at $88,000 incl GST with another full book imminent.

In other exciting news, it is with great pleasure that I announce the promotion of Sam Matthews to General Manager – Operations and Nominations at Swettenham Stud. Sam has been my right hand man for a number of years and has been a vital part of our ongoing success. Sam will still be heavily involved with selling nominations but will also oversee the continued growth and expansion of Swettenham Stud for many years to come.

With growth comes opportunity and we are thrilled to welcome Marcus Heritage to the nominations team at Swettenham Stud. Marcus returns to Swettenham boasting a CV including time with Lindsay Park, Danny O’Brien racing, a season in the covering shed at Swettenham Stud and most recently in a nominations role with Aquis. Marcus will play a key part in the business both internally and externally to assist our clients to maximise their results with the best matings for their mares.

I would also like to announce the promotion of Barry Faulds to Stud Manager at Swettenham Stud. A familiar face to most with a wealth of experience in stallions, farm management and all facets of the bloodstock environment, we have full confidence in Barry’s experience as he has demonstrated in the past 12 months at Swettenham. Taking residence at the farm, Barry will be responsible for the overall management of the farm as well as covering book and foaling in what is shaping up to be yet another busy season at Swettenham Stud with the success of our clients and friends at the forefront of our goals.

Please feel free to contact myself or any of my team to discuss how we can ensure that you secure your stallion of choice and how we can best ensure your success.

Best Wishes,


Adam Sangster

James O'Brien President TBV, Victorian Owner Breeder Raceday at Caulfield Racecourse on April 23, 2022 in Caulfield, Australia. (Reg Ryan/Racing Photos)

The importance of the Victorian breeding industry and the role it plays in the local economy was again reinforced at the eighth edition of the Victorian Owners and Breeders Raceday at Caulfield last Saturday.
Featuring a nine-race card for Victorian bred horses, the meeting was highlighted by the $1m The Showdown for VOBIS Sired two-year-olds and the $500,000 VOBIS Sires Guineas for three-year-olds sired by VOBIS Sires.
The Showdown was won by the Anthony and Sam Freedman trained Kings Consort who is sired by Noor Elaine Farm stallion IIovethiscity and a homebred by Leneva Park’s Sarah Beaumont and her partner, Joel Walton.
Kings Consort was purchased for $32,000 by Anthony Freedman at the Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale.
Mornington trainer Matt Laurie and owner Peter Dugan again tasted success on the big day for Victorian breeders and owners with another horse sired by Swettenham Stud stallion Toronado.
Laurie trained Prince of Sussex to victory in the inaugural The Showdown (1200m) in 2019. Dugan then sold the Toronado gelding to Hong Kong, where it races as Lucky Express, for $1.75 million.
Dugan bought last Saturday’s winner of the Sires Guineas (1600m) Chartres (Toronado x The French House) from Kristen Manning and her co-breeders for $40,000.
Thoroughbred Breeders Victorian president James O’Brien said it was a day where Victoria’s quality thoroughbreds could be celebrated with breeders and owners.
He said the day was ‘wonderfully’ supported by Racing Victoria and with an increase in prizemoney, more people in the industry had started to target all the races on the card.
“I would love to see the Guineas get a million dollars and I think that would be exciting for the future,” he told RSN927 on race morning.
“It just gets better and better every year.
“The highlight is The Showdown and it is a two-year-old race and I think it is a great time to run a two-year-old race as its exclusive to VOBIS sired horses and it follows the Blue Diamond and Golden Slipper paths.
“It gives another option and I think it is timed really well in April.”
“If you look at the top 10 sires on the table in Australia at the moment, four of those will be standing in Victoria, including the champion stallion in Australia which is Written Tycoon.
“We have also got Toronado from Swettenham, Shamus Award, the sire of Incentivise, with Rosemont. Widden the longest historical family run stud in the world have ventured into Victoria and have bought down Nicconi, the sire of the highest rated sprinter in the world at the moment, Nature Strip.
“The Hunter Valley have four that will be standing, so we are on par.”
O’Brien said there was $23m on offer in Victoria through VOBIS bonuses and congratulated the support of Racing Victoria which announced last year that it would contribute an extra $7.5m dollars from August this year with bonus offers.
He said the Racing Victoria contribution would lift the total VOBIS bonuses on offer to more than $30.5m.
“The state government has also been tremendous in their support for thoroughbred breeders, and of course, it’s been highlighted by the opportunity to run in a million-dollar race like The Showdown,” he said.
“Anyone thinking of getting involved in racing, the opportunities out there are tremendous, and I would suggest buying a Victorian bred horse. We have got the pedigrees, we have got the right stallions, we have got the right dams and not only that, but we have got a tremendous environment.
“We have got the climate, the conditions, the pastures and the right people. Pedigree is one thing but bringing a horse up correctly in the right environment is essential.
“And then we have the support. There is tremendous racing in Victoria, great prize money and the $30.5m bonuses for just a Victorian-bred.”
Melbourne Racing Club chairman Peter Le Grand said his club had hosted the Victorian Owners and Breeders Raceday for the past eight years.
In welcoming guests to the committee room on Saturday, Le Grand said the meeting celebrated the valuable contribution of the owners and breeders to the Victorian thoroughbred racing industry.
“It supports those who breed, buy and own horses in this state,” he said.
“Today, there is more than $3m on offer in prize money and bonuses.”
Le Grand said the Victorian breeding industry brings in an economic impact and benefit to the state in excess of $200m annually.
“It employs over 5000 people in the breeding industry,” he said.
“134 stallions are located in Victoria, which represents 29 per cent of the industry across our great country.”
Le Grand congratulated O’Brien and TBV’s chief executive Charmein Bukovec for the enormous amount of work they had done to improve all aspects of the Victorian breeding industry.
Racing Victoria’s general manager of racing, Greg Carpenter, said 250 VOBIS Gold races were run throughout the year.
“If you have a VOBIS Gold horse, you win a share in a bonus of $20,000,” he said.
“From the first of August, those 250 races will also carry a $30,000 voucher to be either used with a VOBIS Sire or to help purchase a horse by a VOBIS Sire at the sale.”


Chartres ridden by Ethan Brown wins the The VOBIS Sires Guineas at Caulfield Racecourse on April 23, 2022 in Caulfield, Australia. (Brett Holburt/Racing Photos)

The win of Chartres in the $500,000 VOBIS Sires Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield last Saturday wasn’t just a triumph for Mornington trainer Matt Laurie and owner Paul Dugan who combined to win the first running of the inaugural $1m The Showdown in 2019 with Prince of Sussex.
Dugan, who sold Prince of Sussex (now racing as Lucky Express) immediately after The Showdown victory to Hong Kong for $1.75m, bought Chartres because he reminded him of his former star galloper.
Both horses were sired by Swettenham Stud’s Toronado.

And while Laurie and Dugan were ecstatic with the win, the roar of the group that bred the three-year-old, led by Kristen Manning, was deafening as the gelding crossed the winning post.

It was particularly pleasing for Manning, who identified Toronado as the perfect stallion to mate with Chartre’s dam The French House (Dylan Thomas x Desaismes), a mare and family that she’d been associated with for a long time.

“We have had success as breeders, but we have never had a Saturday winner before,” Manning said.

Connections of Chartres after winning the The VOBIS Sires Guineas at Caulfield Racecourse on April 23, 2022 in Caulfield, Australia. (Brett Holburt/Racing Photos)

‘” We have had horses win on Sundays and Wednesdays and things, but there is something about a Saturday afternoon.

“It’s that weird transition when you name a horse that nobody else knows who they are, and suddenly everyone does. It’s always a thrill.”

Manning said the success of Chartres went back quite a few years and began when the Moroney stable bought a Victorian bred horse in Sydney – a Grand Lodge (USA) filly, a product of the stallion’s last crop.

Manning loved the pedigree of the filly, she was out of Assertive Lady (Assert x Cairene), and bought a small share, but the majority of owners were based in New Zealand.

“She was trained by Moroney, and we got to go and play like we were the biggest owners, but we were the smallest because the other owners weren’t there,” she laughed.

“I had the privilege of naming her Deraismes and was quite proud of it because she was by Grand Lodge out of Assertive Lady and Maria Deraismes was the first female leader of the Grand Lodge.

“I had a tiny share of her, and she won two at Sandown and was Stakes placed.”
When the ownership group decided to retire the mare, they sold her back to the breeders, Tim and Brian Kelly of Bloodhound, who happened to be Manning’s friends.

“They sold her back to them, and they do a lot of pedigree research, and she went to Dylan Thomas (Danehill x Lagrion) and had a foal who died on its first day,” Manning recalled.

“So they sent her back to Dylan Thomas the next year. They are part of a pedigree group, and we get together once a month, and it’s been going for about 25 years.

“We call ourselves the Victorian Pedigree Group but nothing really official. We meet up at a pub and then go back to the Kelly office and just talk about pedigrees.”

It was at one of those gatherings that the Kellys said they were syndicating the filly they’d bred from the second mating between Dylan Thomas and Deraismes and asked Manning if she’d like to take the remaining quarter share.

Manning syndicated the share, and some of the owners who had raced Deraismes accepted the offer to stay involved.

“We called the filly The French House because Dylan Thomas (Welsh poet) used to frequent the pub at Soho called The French House, and he once left his book there when he was drunk,” she said.

“We actually visited there when we went to London last time, so it was quite a buzz.
“It’s one of the longest-running pubs in London and is quite famous, and the name sounded like a winner to me.”

The French House was given to Darren Weir to train, and he thought she was Group 1 quality and set her for the Australasian Oaks at Adelaide when injury intervened with a tendon issue a Flemington at her eighth and what turned out to be her final race.
“Even though on paper she only won a maiden at Kilmore – she ran fifth in two listed races – she was quite unlucky,” Manning said.

“As the other owners weren’t breeders, they put her in the sale at Inglis in June, and I went up to get her, and we happened to get her for $1400, which was amazing. There was a bit of a knock-on Dylan Thomas at the time, and the family wasn’t really happening, and on the paper, she was just a maiden winner.

“At the time, I wasn’t in a position to have another mare, but I didn’t want to let her go, and one of the things was that she had the most beautiful movement and was only little. She had this beautiful action and just floated over the ground and thought I’d be mad not to get her.”

Manning gathered the support of a few friends, who had never previously bred a horse, and they all started putting money into an account to cover the costs and hopefully build up a bank to pay for a service to a decent stallion.

Manning used her expertise as a pedigree analyst to identify Adam Sangster’s shuttle stallion Toronado (High Chaparral x Wana Doo) at Swettenham Stud.

“I just thought he was a wonderful match for her, but he was way out of the league,” Manning said of the service fee.

“I thought I’d see if I could get a foal share, but Adam Sangster said we don’t do them but write down your thoughts, so I sent him what I thought was a pretty convincing letter, and he agreed.

“I’ve just been speaking to him, and he said it was the first foal share he ever did.”

But it wasn’t instant success with the in-demand Toronado.

The first foal produced in the mating with The French House was a filly which was totally unexpected on type from what Manning had envisaged.

“The French House is quite similar in looks to Toronado,” Manning said.

“She is small but has quite similar markings to Toronado. But out came this chestnut with four white feet and a huge white face, and I am still not genetically sure where she came from.

“Rebecca Waymouth bought her (Auclert), and we stayed in, but she went amiss, and the other owner bought us out, and she went to Shalaa, and I believe she is in foal.

“This fellow was the second foal and came out exactly as I thought, and he just looked like a Toronado from day one.”

Chartres was foaled down at Neville Murdoch’s Larneuk Stud.

Being a foal share, they were forced to sell, and the colt was headed to Melbourne Premier before the pandemic struck.

Rather than going through an online sale, Sangster withdrew all his yearlings, but in the meantime, Dugan had gone through the catalogue and thought that Chartres looked like Lucky Express (Prince of Sussex).

“He told me that one of the reasons he bought Prince Of Sussex was the mother had only won a maiden but had been thought highly of, and it was the same thing as our mare,” Manning said.

“He watched the videos of our mare online, and then Swettenham gave him my number, and he rang, and we hit it off, he is a lovely bloke, and we agreed on a price which was just $40,000.

“We just doubled the service fee so that we’d break even if that.”

Manning told the owners when they agreed to the foal share to not be too concerned if they didn’t race the first two because she was determined to “make’’ the mare and gave her a good start to what they wanted to achieve in the future.

She said nearly all the breeders of Chartres bought back into the gelding.

“I think we have set the mare up, which is good because she is only young,” Manning said.
“She had a beautiful Love Conquers All filly the year before last but unfortunately got to eight weeks and died of an infection. It hurts even more now.

“We gave the mare that year off because she got a bit of stress colic after losing the foal.
“Now she is in foal to Brave Smash.”

All the owners of Prince of Sussex are also in the ownership of Chartres, along with most of the breeders of Chartres.

Offers came from Hong Kong after Chartres won his maiden at Cranbourne at his fourth start. The three-year-old, which finished third in the Group 3 Zeditave Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield in February, has now raced eight times for three wins, a second and a third for $443,500 in prize money.

Manning said that she and the other breeders were delighted that Dugan invited them back into the horse, and they are hopeful Chartres won’t be sold.

She said all the other breeders – including Vin Lowe, Steve Dainton, Patrick Hines, Amanda Nemaric, Ryan Butters, Felicity Hawker, Howard Clement and Nick Lovett – all agree on one thing.

“It’s a different level of thrill when you breed them,” Manning said.

“A lot of those people couldn’t afford to breed a horse and to bring them in to share it, and I am really thrilled for them.

“It really elevates it, and the Kellys were there to watch it too.”

Connections of Chartres after winning the The VOBIS Sires Guineas at Caulfield Racecourse on April 23, 2022 in Caulfield, Australia. (Pat Scala/Racing Photos)


Connections of Kings Consort after winning the The Showdown at Caulfield Racecourse on April 23, 2022 in Caulfield, Australia. (Pat Scala/Racing Photos)

For a colt that was impossible to place in a Melbourne sale, last Saturday’s $1m The Showdown winner Kings Consort is now a much-loved two-year-old that would now take a lot of money to buy.

Astute trainer Anthony Freedman parted with just $32,000 for the then colt at last year’s Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale.

The gelding banked $550,000 in The Showdown victory at Caulfield, plus a VOBIS Gold nominator’s bonus of $7000 and a $23,000 owner’s bonus.

He was bred by Sarah Beaumont, whose family operates and owns Leneva Park at Longwood East, and her partner Joel Walton.

Beaumont reveals that she paid $1000 for King Consorts’ dam Peckish (Snitzel x Kvante) after the mare had already produced two fillies, She’sinthelimelite (Kuroshio) and Indiana Rose (Omaru Force).

The first foal managed a second from 10 starts, while Indiana Rose, which Beaumont and Walton raced in partnership, was destined for better things but broke down at just her second start after winning on debut at Albury over 1175m.

After buying Peckish, Beaumont and Walton bred three foals from the mare – Siasha Jewel (Reward For Effort), Kings Consort (IIovethiscity) and a filly by Puissance De Lune.

“Tim Brown (bloodstock consultant) said we should send the mare to IIovethiscity when he was inspecting some of our yearlings,” Beaumont, who is Leneva Park’s operation manager said.

“I didn’t know who IIovethiscity was, but I sent the mare to him and got this one.

“It was actually funny because no one wanted to accept the horse into a sale.

“But Tim told us he could get him into Adelaide, and that’s as far as he could get him, so that’s where went and everyone was saying you’d be lucky to get ten grand for the horse – but we got $32,000 which we were pretty happy with.

“If we didn’t get ten grand, we were going to keep him and race him ourselves as we thought he was a good little type.”

Kings Consort as a foal (Image: Supplied)

Beaumont said that as well as breeding the colt, they foaled him down and prepared him for sale at Leneva Park.

She said it was good when a “nice little cheapie” gets up to win a big race.

After an inspection of her mares last year, she was told to get rid of Peckish because they wouldn’t get the colt to a sale.

“So we got rid of the mare,” Beaumont laughed.

“It’s really good timing. We sold him to a guy at Wangaratta.

“We sold her as a package with a Puissance De Lune foal at foot. I think we got $15,000 for the two and the foal was quite a nice filly.’

The Puissance De Lune filly was passed in at last week’s Inglis Gold Yearling Sale on a $20,000 reserve.

Beaumont doesn’t sugarcoat her description of Peckish.

“She was an absolute bitch of a mare, and everything out of her has been really hard work,” she said.

“They have all been fillies bar him (Kings Consort). Indiana Rose showed a lot of potential but bowed a tendon, and she was very hard work and similar to Kings Consort, a chestnut with exactly the same face markings and exactly the same body shape and everything.

“We sold her online, and when she arrived at the new buyer’s place and got colic and passed away two days later.”

Beaumont said the experts told her to get rid of about five or six of her own broodmares – even if she had to give them away – last year because they weren’t worth anything.

She said while it was all about being commercial, there wasn’t one horse in The Showdown that made over six figures at the sales.

“With Kings Consort, he always had to be the ring leader in the paddock,” Beaumont said.

“I breed show ponies, and they all lived in the same paddock, all the mares and foals, and he always had to be the first to the gate, the first one to be fed, and he was a real dominate little colt, and I think sometimes that shows that they are a tough horse.

“Even when we prepped him as a yearling, he was always forward going.”

Beaumont admitted that she stopped breeding from her personal band of around eight broodmares after she was told they weren’t good enough.
“So we got rid of them,” she said.

“Leneva has got a good little set of broodmares now for the family and business.

“They are mares that we want to breed on with our stallions (Fierce Impact and Royal Meeting) and put them through the yearling sales and things like that.

“We had to upgrade, and it’s very expensive to buy well-bred broodmares just to meet the commercial market, and it’s disappointing in a way that an agent can’t look at a horse and say, gee, that’s a nice type and be able to put it in a nice sale.

Since being sold Peckish has been served by Inference (So You Think x Pontiana).

Leneva Park’s general manager Mick Sharkie confirmed what Beaumont said about Peckish’s temperament.

“I was genuinely scared of her because she’d line you up when you went across the paddock and just charge at you like a bull,” Sharkie said.

“She had no pedigree and nothing to recommend her at all, really, on type or page, but Joel and Sarah were just messing around and wanting something to breed and see if they could get to the races and then eventually decided to sell him, and it was probably the best option.

“He might have had a small OCD in a hock, and that probably turned off the ready to run trade people because he was perfectly built for that job.
“But it just meant that he became a trainer’s horse which is great.”

Sharkie said while there had been some talk about Hong Kong showing interest, the OCD issue might be a problem, and those at Leneva Park would like to see him continue to race in Victorian to collect VOBIS money for Beaumont and Walton.

“VOBIS is the best scheme in the world,” he said.

“It’s great for them as the breeders to get benefits.”

Sharkie said that after Peckish’s Puissance De Lune filly was passed in last week, he’d like to think that someone has since purchased it following King Consort’s win.

“She (Peckish) is probably a $1000 mare, and she would be worth more after that result, but I wouldn’t have thought it’s astronomical numbers,” he said.

“It doesn’t really improve lack of depth on her page, but it’s one of those lovely stories that give an owner-breeder a chance.”

Kings Consort as yearling (Magic Millions)

Sharkie said that Anthony Freedman’s record of buying good horses for not a lot of money shows that he has got a very good eye, particularly for a young horse.

He said as a selector of two-year-old types, there were not many in Victoria as good as Freedman, but he goes under the radar.

While the timing mightn’t have been great for Peckish’s new owner Greg Adamo to offer the Puissance De Lune filly for sale, it might have been a week too early for Noor Elaine Farm to offer eight yearlings by IIovethiscity also at last week’s Gold Sale.

The top price they got was $45,000 for an IIovethiscity colt out of Rock of Ages. Another sold for $22,000.The next best was $5000, one for $3000 and two for $2000 and another for $1500.

Another, offered by Hollylodge Thoroughbreds, was knocked down for $8000.

Noor Elaine Farm’s stud manager Tim Jackson said it was good for IIovethiscity to have two runners in The Showdown. Capital Express (Roman Belle) finished seventh in the 14-horse field.

Noor Elaine Farm also had a homebred, Hollerlujah (Holler x Littlemiss Sandown), which finished eighth in the race.

Jackson said that with five Stakes winners and good demand for Ilovethiscity’s progeny in Hong Kong, it was disappointing with the results at last week’s Gold sale.

“He has had a couple of two-year-old winners in the past two or three weeks, and Annabel Neasham has got a pretty handy one, Diamond City,” he said.

“We were selling horses for $2000 and $3000 last Thursday by the stallion.”

Jackson said the El-Fakhri family, owners of Noor Elaine Farm, were genuine sellers and breeders who took the knocks and rode the rollercoaster.

“Hopefully, at the end of the day, they come out in front,’ Jackson said.

“It’s an addictive sport, and once you get into it, it’s pretty hard to get out of it.”

Jackson said the IIovethiscity yearlings at the Gold sale were offered to be sold, but they knew they’d be in trouble with a few of them because they were a little bit immature and needed time.

IIovethiscity has produced five Stakes winners and stands at a service fee of $8800.

He served 51 mares last year and 124 in 2020.

2020-born foal Super VOBIS nominations close Saturday 30 April.

As the nominator, you will pay a one-off fee for the nomination and when the horse wins or places in an eligible race, you’ll receive a nominator’s bonus. Nominated horses can compete for over $13 million in Super VOBIS bonuses in over 840 races each season. The Nominator, Owner, Trainer and Jockey all receive a portion of a Super VOBIS bonus when the horse runs 1st, 2nd or 3rd, in all two and three-year-old TAB races in Victoria.



Category A (Victorian Sired)         $660

Category B (Breedback)                 $1320

Category C (Victorian Breeder)    $1980


Once nominated for Super VOBIS, your yearling will then also be eligible to be nominated for VOBIS Gold, which offers additional prizemoney and bonuses. VOBIS Gold eligible horses may also compete in the exclusive VOBIS Gold Premier Race Series worth over $5.25 million, and from 1 August 2022 will also be eligible to compete for an additional $7.5m in VOBIS Sires Boost vouchers available for reinvestment into the Victorian industry.

Ensure your yearling benefits from all the bonuses available in Victoria.

Nominate here now or for assistance call 1800 870 799 or email

The Economist ridden by Beau Mertens wins the Thoroughbred Breeders Super VOBIS Maiden Plate at Cranbourne Racecourse on April 08, 2022 in Cranbourne, Australia. (Ross Holburt/Racing Photos)

Veteran Cranbourne trainer and horse breaker Barry Fox is happy he remained in the game for a little bit longer after his wife Tina decided to breed another foal from a mare that had won two races for one of their long-time clients.
Fox, who has been in the horse industry for as long as anyone can remember, was on the verge of full-time retirement before he broke in a Danerich colt out of Galileo mare Shelta.
Named The Economist, the now three-year-old gelding has raced four times for one win, which came in the Victorian Thoroughbred Breeders Super Breeders Maiden Plate (1300m) at Cranbourne on Friday night, two seconds and a third.
The first-up victory at Cranbourne came after a 13-week spell when The Economist finished second, beaten less than a length, by Straight Arron, a last start winner of the Group 3 ATC Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) earlier this month.
It was the sort of form that attracted plenty of attention, and it was no surprise that the Fox runner was the raging $1.40 favourite on Friday night.
There was plenty of post-race attention, with Fox revealing Hong Kong interests had come knocking with a healthy offer that he had already dismissed.
He races the horses with his son Matthew and the two sons, Julian and Darcy, that Fox and Tina share.
“He is a nice little horse,” Fox said.
“I got a phone call, but I wouldn’t sell him. They have offered half a million at this stage.
“I am 73 and haven’t got that much longer to go, and who cares. What are you going to do with it (money)? This is the last horse I’ve got.”
Fox trained The Economist’s dam Shelta to a victory at Sandown over 2100m for owner Bob Moses who, along with Tina Fox, bred four foals from the mare.
Simple Solution, a filly by Bianconi, won three races, all at Sale. Another filly, Secret Message (Americain), was retired after two starts, a filly by Canford Cliffs died in a paddock accident, and the filly The Sentinel (Jungle Ruler) won a maiden for Cranbourne trainer Rhonda Mangan last year.
The Economist was the first colt produced by Shelta, which has since had two foals by Wayed Zain after the Foxes gave a free lease on the mare.
“She wasn’t put into foal last year, so she is coming back to us,” Fox said.
“We’ll hopefully put her back into foal to Danerich because with the mare being by Galileo; it’s the best line in the world.”
Fox said they bought Shelta when Moses decided to sell her.
While Fox said the Americain filly was a lovely type, he rated her as best suited to a showjumping career. He said the Canford Cliffs filly was a stunner but sadly came to grief in the paddock.
He said that when he decided to retire, they couldn’t keep all the horses and gave The Sentinel to Mangan after he’d broken the filly in.
“The best way to go broke is by owning too many,” Fox said.
“This one is a nice, lovely doing horse and a good type and hasn’t left an oat since he raced.
“I think he is a genuine miler. He is not a big, lean staying type. He is a heavy set horse.”
Tina said she offered Moses $2000 for Shelta when he decided to sell.
“The Sentinel has a lot of ability, and we hope they win races with her too,” Tina said.
“They are rapt to have her.
“This one has shown promise right from the start, and we thought he would have won a race pretty early, but we just kept running into good horses.
“But after that horse won at Randwick last week, I said to Barry that if you look at the sectionals from the last 200m of the Sandown race, our horse ran the last 200 metres faster than the winner.
“We drew barrier one that day, and they said the rail might have been off, so you can’t get much more bad luck than that. There were about seven lengths between second to third.
“We were lucky on Friday night because the horse was very fat. He turns feed into fat very efficiently.”
Shelta is now 16-years-old, and Tina is hoping that the mare will be able to throw them another good foal when they send her back to Danerich.
“Every foal she has thrown is beautiful,” she said.
“They have got that really nice head on them and have beautiful legs, and for some reasons, some mares throw really good headed horses, and she is just one of those mares that does.
“They are always good types, and she was a good type herself.”
Tina said they were attracted to the Danehill line and were after an affordable service fee.
“We thought who is a really nice Danehill stallion, and we knew Danerich’s brother Redzel (Snitzel) won a few good races and he was a good horse, and Danerich has good types, so we thought we’d send her to him and see what happens.
“Our horse has only won one race, but hopefully, he’ll win more.
“Every race he’s had, he flattens out over the last 200m and just tries his guts out, so you can’t be any happier than that.”
Cornwall Park’s Peter Boyle said that despite being a rising 20-year-old, Danerich continues to be in fine health.
“He is a dream to do anything with,” he said.
“He gets runners every day. He just gets a heap of runners.”
Danerich transferred from Rangal Park Stud to Cornwall Park Stud before the start of last year’s breeding season when he served 23 mares, the same number as 2020.
“Last year, the shareholders really supported him well, and while he is getting older, he is still as fertile as all hell, and he still covers well,” Boyle said.
Another of the stallions to transfer to Cornwall Park when Rangal Park closed was Soul Patch (Shamus Award x God Bless Us), and he served 30 mares last year compared to the 31 in his first season.
“He is a beautiful animal, and he is just a big, strong, robust horse that is just a lovely animal.
“He has got some lovely foals.”
Boyle said a lot of breeders who sent mares to Soul Patch are shareholders in the stallion, and many have told Boyle that they will be keeping the foals to race.

Connections of Paperboy in the Mounting Yard after winning the Seppelt Wines Handicap at Caulfield Racecourse on April 09, 2022 in Caulfield, Australia. (Jay Town/Racing Photos)

Popular Victorian stallions continued to provide winners over the weekend, which kicked off on Saturday when Written Tycoon’s son Paperboy continued his rejuvenated form under Cranbourne trainer Gavin Bedggood.
Since joining his stable at the start of the year, the six-year-old gelding has gone from being a handy country galloper to winning two of four of his starts for Bedggood at Caulfield. Paperboy has also finished second at Caulfield and Flemington.
Under Bedggood, the six-year-old gelding has picked up $163,150 in those four starts, which is a huge return on the $50,000 he paid for the horse, which was purchased privately for stable clients.
Paperboy has now raced 32 times for six wins, 10 seconds and two thirds for $351,390 in prizemoney.
Bedggood, a former jumps jockey who is developing into a talented trainer, has only ever previously trained one horse by Yulong stallion Written Tycoon. Allageri (Zolletta) won three consecutive races for Bedggood.
“Paperboy has been a good get,” he said.
“He was going to go online, and I thought he’d be worth between $40,000 and $50,000. I offered $50,000, and they took that.
“He has tripled his purchased price already. I suppose fifty grand seemed like a lot, and no one expected him to do what he’s done.”
Paperboy was originally offered for sale by Rosegate Park at the 2016 Inglis Great Southern Weanling Sale but was passed in on a $50,000 reserve.
The following year the horse was sold through Noor Elaine Farm’s draft for $40,000 at the Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale.
Noor Elaine Farm’s George Yannas recalls that Paperboy was an immature type when he was going through the yearling sale.
“He was on behalf of clients and wasn’t one of our horses and was out of a mare called Blue Simone (Dash For Cash x Carnatic).
“He was a smallish horse but was quite correct. He went through the second book at Adelaide. He has done really well.”
Yannas said the people at Rosegate Park continue to support Noor Elaine Farm’s stallion IIovethiscity (Magic Albert x Kensington Rose).
He said the stallion had always had a horse up in lights since he’d been at Noor Elaine but doesn’t at the moment.
“But he has got plenty of them on the ground at the moment, more than he has ever had,” Yannas said.
“Hopefully, one of them pops up and does something.
“He has had his three biggest books since he has been at the farm, and hopefully that translates, and sometimes it doesn’t, but we are hoping for a good one.”
The Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) winner joined the stallion roster at Noor Elaine Farm in 2018, serving 70 mares. His biggest book was 124 in 2020. He served 51 mares last season.
Yannas said it was tough going to get a good commercial stallion.
“I think the flag bearer in Victoria is Toronado and Shamus Award,” he said.
Scissor Step kept the city winners coming for Toronado with a first-up victory from a spell for Mathew Ellerton at Caulfield on Saturday. Out of Watch Your Step (Sepoy x Gypsy’s Best), the three-year-old gelding has won three races and had four minor placings from nine starts.
Scissor Step is raced by his Victorian breeder, Hesket Bloodstock.
The three-year-old finished third in the Bendigo VOBIS Gold Rush and The Showdown as a two-year-old.
Before going for his most recent spell, Scissor Step finished second, beaten half a length by Generation (Snitzel x Fontiton) in the Group 3 Red Anchor Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley.
And after four trials, the Victorian-bred Wonderful Warrior made a winning debut over 1000m at Sha Tin on Sunday after starting $1.60 favourite.
By Woodside Stud stallion Rich Enuff, the three-year-old gelding was sold for $150,000 at the 2020 Inglis Ready2Race Sale from the Leneva Park draft.
Bred by the Knight family, Wonderful Warrior is the second horse out of their broodmare Neon Bel (Bel Esprit x Sorell Creek) to race in Hong Kong.
Nordic Wellstar (Written Tycoon) was sold to Hong Kong after winning a trial by six lengths and then a Swan Hill maiden by 4.3 lengths when the now six-year-old raced as Latenighttoughguy.
The gelding managed only one second at Happy Valley in six starts in Hong Kong..

El Patroness wins the Australian Oaks (Steve Hart)

For a trainer who has already achieved a string of Group 1 successes, the victory of El Patroness in the $1m Australian Oaks (2400m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday was another special achievement for Danny O’Brien.
The Melbourne Cup-winning trainer not only bred the three-year-old filly in partnership with prolific owner Jonathan Rosham but also trained the sire Shamus Award and the dam Sure You Can (O’Reilly x Not Sure).
“Obviously, Shamus Award was one of the best horses to come through our stables and was a Cox Plate winner, and we are all proud of how well he is doing at stud now,’’ O’Brien said.
“I bought the mother as a yearling, and she was by O’Reilly, and El Patroness was her first foal, and she looks like she has got a big future as a broodmare.
“It’s nice when it pays off generation after generation.”
Sure You Can, who O’Brien bought for $100,000 at the 2012 Karaka Yearling Sales, won three races, including two over 2000m at Flemington for the trainer and Rosham.
Asked whether he always believed Shamus Award would make it as a stallion, O’Brien said: “He did win a Cox Plate and an Australian Guineas and colts that do that, and he obviously did it as a three-year-old, you have got to think that they are really a good chance of doing it.
“He is by Snitzel and is a beautiful looking horse.
“It’s probably taken everyone a while to work out that you have to be a little bit patient and treat them as that style of horse.
“Everyone is being rewarded with how good they end up being if you are a bit patient with them.”
O’Brien agreed that it had been good for Anthony Mithen’s Rosemont Stud to secure the services of Shamus Award from New South Wales.
He said the Victorian breeding industry over the past decade had just gotten stronger and stronger.
“To have him and Written Tycoon, they are two horses that are going to finish in the top five of the stallion’s premiership this year,” O’Brien said.
“We have got some really good stallions down here, and Shamus is certainly leading the way.”
As Shamus Award’s trainer, O’Brien has two breeding rights annually to the stallion and has bred two mares to him every year.
“I have two or three foals on the ground to him this spring,” he said.
“We were always supporting him even when he was unfashionable, and we are definitely not going to stop now that he has made it commercially.
“With those middle-distance horses, until they have probably got five or six-year-olds racing, you don’t get mares to show themselves. Even Zabeel was on the nose as a stallion early doors, and look what he ended up being.
“It just takes a few years to get their stock out there are the right distances and right ages to show the market what they can do.”
O’Brien and the Rosham-led Balmerino Racing have bred a Star Witness filly out of Sure You Can, as well as a full sister to El Patroness and a colt by Puissance De Lune. The mare is back in foal to Shamus Award.
He said the Star Witness filly had a few issues and wouldn’t race but has been retained as a broodmare.
“The full yearling sister is just getting broken in now, and she is a beautiful filly,” O’Brien said.
“She is the equal of El Patroness and is a really good style of a Shamus Award filly.
“The mare has a lovely Puissance De Lune colt on her this year, and obviously, Puissance De Lune is another Victorian stallion that is really starting to hit his straps.
“Hopefully, we can get a little bit excited with some of her progeny that is going to come through over the next couple of seasons.”
O’Brien said he owns Sure You Can in partnership with Rosham, and the pair have had a lot of success, including with Group 1 VRC Oaks (2500m) winner Miami Bound which also won Group 2 races, the Wakeful Stakes (2000m) and the Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m).
Rosham has never had a shortage of nice horses, including a share in Melbourne Cup winner Verry Elleegant which has won 11 Group 1s.
With O’Brien and Rosham both being Hawthorn supporters, there is a distinct Hawk flavour of owners in El Patroness, including premiership players Jack Gunston, Liam Shiels and Luke Bruest.
Former Hawks Jarryd Roughead, also a premiership hero, and Jonathon Ceglar have a slice in the ownership of El Patroness, which is just $74,800 short of $1m in prizemoney.
“Jack Gunston was very keen to get involved, and he obviously bought some of those other boys in as well, and they are all very excited as you would be,” he said.
O’Brien said they’d like to give El Patroness another chance of winning an Oaks before the season ends and are looking at either the South Australian or Queensland Oaks.
He said the filly, which has had nine starts for two wins, one second and four thirds, hadn’t been through a long autumn and was in good shape.
“We are keeping those options open for her,” O’Brien said.

TBV Executive Officer – Charmein Bukovec (Image: Racing Photos)

Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria (TBV) would like to announce that their Executive Officer, Charmein Bukovec, has resigned after three-and-a-half years in the position.

Charmein developed many projects and initiatives at TBV, including the establishment of VOBIS Sires Boost, which will provide $7.5 million in bonus vouchers for those who support VOBIS Sires.

The VOBIS Sires Boost looks to play a huge impact in the future of Victorian breeding, something that Charmein has always championed in her role as Executive Officer.

Charmein has helped establish the recently announced Victorian Breeding Academy, whilst also assisting the Victorian breeding and racing industry when COVID hit, through engagement with Racing Victoria & the Victorian State Government.

Charmein also worked closely with the Victorian Farmers Federation and others regarding the Crown River Frontage issue posing threats to breeder’s farms.

Making connections with some of the industry’s leading participants, Charmein was always promoting the TBV brand and giving the Victorian breeding industry a highly-respected face.

Charmein played a pivotal role in increasing the brand of TBV in the industry through a strategic and targeted marketing plan to highlight the strength of the Victorian industry by working closely with industry media. From organising webinars with equine welfare participants to radio and television interviews, Charmein played a lead role in establishing what TBV has become today and what we strive to be going forward.

“It is with sadness that I have accepted Charmein Bukovec’s resignation,” TBV President James O’Brien said.

“On behalf of the Board of Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria (TBV), I would like to extend my gratitude to Charmein for her tremendous contribution to TBV and its members during her three-and-a-half-year tenure as TBV’s executive officer.

“Charmein has enhanced TBV’s relationships with Racing Victoria, the Victorian Government, Industry stakeholders, Thoroughbred Breeders Australia, sponsors and thoroughbred sales houses.

“With a great love for the industry and a strong focus on welfare and education, she has always put the cause of TBV and the interests of Victorian breeders first. She was committed, dedicated and passionate in everything she did.

“Charmein consulted with industry and provided support and guidance to members during the uncertain times of COVID.

“She was instrumental in achieving Racing Victoria’s support for an additional $7.5 million to the VOBIS program through the VOBIS Sires Boost aimed at lifting the profile and demand for Victorian stallions.

“Always highlighting the success of Victorian breeders, along with ensuring that our breeders and stakeholders were well represented at both the Victorian Government level and at the Victorian Owners and Breeders Race Day.

“Charmein’s work ethic and mindset of ensuring that VOBIS and Victorian breeding were at the forefront of participants’ minds.”

“Despite leaving TBV, I know I will continue to seek out Charmein for her learned advice.

“I wish Charmein all the best in her future career and endeavours.”

Charmein will remain in the industry after accepting a role with ANZ Bloodstock News as Business Development Manager.

“This was a really hard decision for me. I adored my role at TBV and all the amazing opportunities I received, people I met and issues I was able to help out with. However, the position with ANZ is an opportunity that doesn’t come along often, and I am really excited to take this role with them,” Charmein stated.

“I am privileged to have worked alongside Victorian breeders for the last three-and-a-half years and look forward to be working with them in a new capacity. The Victorian breeding industry is in a great position, and the timing is right to consider a new challenge.”

“I would like to thank TBV President James O’Brien for the support he provided for me. He is very passionate about the Victorian industry, and he invests countless hours of his time.

“I would also like to thank the Board of TBV, past and present, for their work for the industry and the support they have provided to me. The Board are a dynamic group and are so passionate about the industry, and I am confident they will continue to represent the best interests of Victorian breeders.”

Last month we talked about the history of deworming in horses, how rotation as a resistance management strategy has not proved effective and how we must now ‘deworm smarter, not harder’.

Essentially, we need to identify which horses have the most worms, and target our worming to those individuals, not the whole herd. The aim is to try and keep worms to a manageable level, but not try and eradicate them. Eradication attempts are doomed to fail and will drive further resistance. I should say now that this advice is aimed at horses over 12 months old and at strongyle control, because the major health risk for this age group are the small strongyles (cyathostomins). Foals are most affected by roundworms (ascarids) and we don’t have a good resistance-management plan for them yet. If you have ascarids you should treat them, but equally if you don’t have ascarids then don’t treat for them! We might need a separate article on roundworms and pinworms in the future. Back to small strongyles; we also want to look at non-chemical control methods, which can reduce our reliance on drugs.

In general, 2 treatments per year will be sufficient for most adult horses. We identify ‘most adult horses’ by doing faecal egg counts (FECs) once or twice a year, and that tells us if a horse is a ‘high shedder’ of strongyle eggs, which might need more than 2 treatments per year, or a ‘low shedder’, for which 2 treatments is usually enough. The great news is that most horses are low shedders! Of course, if your vet says an individual horse is suffering illness from worms at any time then the rules go out the window and you treat the horse.

The following is an example of how this might look:

Step one – get a manure sample from every horse on your farm and take it to your vet for egg counting.  Alternatively, you could get in touch with your local LLS or DPI person and they might be able to arrange counts for you. Egg counts will routinely detect strongyle eggs and ascarid eggs

A good time to do this is when you are itching to worm the horses; collect the poo instead! This helps you understand what exactly is on your property and which horses are the high and low shedders.

When the results come back TALK TO YOUR VET! Together you can decide what your adult horses need for strongyle control (in a stud situation this would normally be the mares) and what your youngsters need, especially if ascarids were also found.

For your mares, we usually recommend that the twice-yearly treatments occur in spring and autumn, and you could space them to fit in a pre-foaling treatment if you prefer. For the high shedders you can give extra doses in between. You will find that horses tend to stay within the same category, with only a few swapping between the high and low groups each time you test.

Moxidectin (brand name Equest® Plus Tape) is a good choice for the twice-yearly treatments because it will kill those pesky encysted small strongyles that we mentioned in the last article and will suppress worm egg excretion in the poo for longer than other wormers. I am less fussy what you use in between for the high shedders.

Let’s look at cost.  Shall we say a wormer is about $20?

Many of you are worming every 6 – 8 weeks, which is about 7 times a year.  That would cost you $140 per horse.

On the new regime most horses will cost you $40 to worm for a year.  The high shedders (about 20% of your adults) will cost you $80.

You do have to factor in a worm count each year, so let’s add $20 per horse.

This means that you could more than halve your worming bill each year.

Pasture management (non-chemical worm control) is also critical – something as simple as having staff pick up manure regularly can drastically reduce the worm burden. Twice a week would be ideal. Take the manure off-site or put it in a compost pile as future fertiliser, but make sure it composts properly to kill eggs before spreading it on pasture, otherwise all the good work will be undone.

Another way to reduce the parasite burden in your paddocks is to graze cattle or sheep for a few months instead of horses. As the parasites are different for ruminants, they can ingest the horse parasites without getting sick and reduce the pasture burden for horses.

Resting pastures for a few months can also help and is best during hot and dry periods to burn off parasite eggs and larvae.

There has been a lot of info presented in the last two columns, so let me sum it up quickly.

  1. Be strategic! Test to know what worms you need to treat for. Faecal egg counts are a MUST!
  2. Worm less – you will save money, and help prolong the efficacy of drugs for the years to come
  3. Cyathostomins (small strongyles) are the parasite of concern in adult horses – Equest Plus Tape is a good choice as it is effective against encysted small strongyles with a single dose.
  4. Twice a year treatment is enough for the vast majority of adult horses
  5. Implement some non-chemical control methods to take the pressure off the wormers.

Thoroughbred breeders in Australia will, from July, be able to access millions of dollars worth of loans from the federal government after a review by the Regional Investment Corporation concluded that its definition of ‘primary producer’ should be widened to include the thoroughbred industry.


The RIC was set up in 2018 in order to support the growth of primary producers in Australia, and has approved loans to the value of $3.08 billion since its inception, offering several different loans to foster development and support participants in times of need. However, its access had previously been limited to primary producers of food and fibre until the changes announced yesterday, which will come into effect from July.


Tom Reilly, CEO of the Thoroughbred Breeders Association, who lobbied hard to encourage the government to change the eligibility criteria and include thoroughbred industries, said the development will make a ‘big difference’ to many thoroughbred breeders across Australia.


“We’ve been pushing the government to change the definition (and include thoroughbred breeders),” said Reilly.


“I’ve met with minister Littleproud and raised this a number of times with him. He asked RIC to review the situation but we put together a pretty substantial document last year as part of the review explaining why it was necessary and where the benefits would be and help grow and sustain the industry.


“It’s really pleasing that effort has been rewarded because I think it will make a big difference to a number of breeders.”


The RIC helps primary producers with access to five different types of loans, including a farm investment loan, an AgriStarter loan and support to combat drought and land redevelopment.


There will be $266 million available from the RIC during the next financial year for concessional loans to farm businesses to support regional Australia.


“There’s all sorts of different areas you could use this (loan) for,” Reilly continued. “It allows people to borrow up to $2 million from the government which has to be matched by a commercial loan. But the government aspect on all the loans is interest only for five years, so it really gives us a concessional loan rate of just over two per cent variable interest rate, which is very competitive at the moment.


“You could use it to buy more land and, importantly, you can use it to buy more stock as well as machinery and fencing etc … It’s a great way for people to either restructure their debt or expand their business. For younger businesses, this will be a real help and you can also use the money if there are plans for succession. So, really, there’s enough flexibility to use these loans for almost anything you can imagine.”


Minister David Littleproud, deputy leader of the National Party and minister for agriculture, said the change in the definition would result in a further strengthening of the thoroughbred industry as a ‘global leader’.


“The thoroughbred industry is an important part of our regional communities and economy, so I am pleased thoroughbred breeders will now have access to RIC loans,” he said.


“These RIC loans provide vital assistance in the bush, and I expect breeders will use this finance to invest in their businesses.


“It will further strengthen Australia’s reputation as a leader in the global thoroughbred industry.”


For more information and details of how to apply for the loans, visit

In this edition, let’s chat about internal parasites and how times have changed with the way we deworm horses. The good news is that deworming horses should be simpler and cheaper if we adopt current expert advice.

As background, until the mid-20th century worms were difficult to control, and treatments were potentially toxic. Most horse owners didn’t follow a routine for deworming; if they thought the horse had parasites they called the vet to drench the horse, often with some terrible chemical with little efficacy.

It was only in the 1960’s that the first of the modern deworming chemicals were developed, the benzimidazoles or ‘BZs’. These drugs were revolutionary; safer for horses, and effective against worms such as large strongyles which were thought to be a main contributor to colic cases. The new drugs were widely used and led to dramatic reductions in the number of horses getting sick and dying from parasites. The BZs are still commonly used today and are most effective against roundworms (ascarids) in foals.

The “’mectins” were developed in the late 1970’s, beginning with ivermectin. The last ‘mectin to appear was moxidectin in the late 1990s, and these are still the dominant drug group in use today, being most effective against small and large strongyles.

An unfortunate by-product of these amazing drugs was that they were used more frequently. Every 8 weeks was the initial recommendation, along with ‘rotation’ amongst chemicals to cover all the relevant parasites of concern. Happily the impact of the dreaded large strongyles receded, but. rotation was continued once the ‘mectins arrived, this time to try and avoid drug resistance. Today we have reached a point where small strongyles have replaced large strongyles as the ‘parasite of concern’ for adult horses, but rotation has not prevented the emergence of resistance. A 2014 study in Australia of over 100 horse farms revealed that all farms were infested with small strongyles, whereas less than 8% of the farms had evidence of large strongyles; and resistance has been well documented both here and overseas.

Cyathostomins (small strongyles) are a nasty group of parasites, in that larval (immature) stages encyst, or ‘hide’ in the horse’s gut lining – with most wormers being ineffective against this developmental stage. We generally measure the number of eggs shed in the manure to assess worm burden, however encysted stages do not produce eggs, so there is no reliable way to know if a horse has encysted small strongyles or how many.  More concerning is a syndrome where all of the larval worms emerge from their cysts in the gut wall at once – this can cause severe colic and is fatal in up to 50% of cases. The reasons for mass emergence are largely unknown so using a wormer that kills encysted worms is a useful tool in worm management. Moxidectin as a single dose or fenbendazole at double dose for 5 days consecutively are the only options at present.

I mentioned the failure of rotation to prevent resistance, and sadly resistance exists in variable degrees to all available wormers nowadays. If you are rotating,you could potentially be rotating from one ‘resistant drug’ to another, or you may be rotating from a more effective to a less effective drug, which seems counter-productive.

Unfortunately, there are no new and exciting wormer classes in development that are safe, broad-spectrum and without resistance.  The high cost associated with the discovery of new drugs combined with the small size of the equine parasiticide market potentially limits drug development. In addition, any new drugs are likely to be much more expensive than the options we currently have. So, what to do? Well, we need to make the best use of what we currently have – and we need to start thinking strategically.

In essence, you need to treat as infrequently as possible, but as much as required.

In the next edition we will talk more about how we deworm our horses ‘smarter, not harder’.

Stay tuned for next week, when we present part 2 of this article.

Umgawa ridden by Damien Oliver wins the VOBIS Gold Reef at Flemington Racecourse on March 19, 2022 in Flemington, Australia. (George Sal/Racing Photos)

The 2022 $230,000 Vobis Gold Reef run over 1600m had a great field of 11 three-year-olds line-up for a very rich city win on All-Star Mile Day.

Umgawa, the son of SHAMUS AWARD was too strong for his rivals late in the piece with champion jockey Damien Oliver in the saddle.

Boasting plenty of city form leading into the race, Umgawa was the subject of heavy market support, snaring a great win for the punters on course.

Defeating the Mick Price & Michael Kent Jr trained Chateau Nine and the Peter Moody trained Pounding, this gelding put win number two into the book along with reaching more than $276,000 in prizemoney including almost $50,000 in total Vobis prizemoney.

Shamus Award, the Cox Plate winner as a maiden is continuing his winning run at stud with his sons and daughters doing some great things on the track, highlighted by INCENTIVISE in three Melbourne Spring Carnival Group One wins.

Standing at Rosemont Stud for $30,000, Shamus Award will continue to climb in the stallion rankings.

Umgawa, bred at Golden Grove Stud in Victoria, is trained by Team Corstens at Flemington and will look to continue that success across city racing in the coming months.