Burnewang North’s Written By x Vintage Rock Colt (lot 230).

With seven quality foals by seven different sires on offer at the Great Southern Weanling Sale, it seems variety is the spice of life for Aaron Todd and the team at Burnewang North.

Aaron, who manages the bloodstock side of the business in conjunction with his wife Emma, is confident that the farm’s offering at Oaklands Junction holds plenty of appeal for prospective buyers.

From first season sires such as Written By and Merchant Navy to proven performers like So You Think and Pierro, the stallions represented in the Burnewang draft are the perfect blend of youth and experience, and Aaron firmly believes their foals should sell well.

“The good ones will definitely make their money at the sale,” he predicted.

“Quality always sells and you’d be happy to take any of our seven foals home with you, so we’re excited to get there and offer our draft.”

Indeed, Aaron has tried – without success – to persuade the farm’s owner Cathy Hains to keep some of the foals to race themselves. In particular, the team could find it hard to part with lot 540, a beautiful filly by Exceed and Excel.

“She’s all class, this girl,” said Aaron.

“She’s not a jump and run early two-year-old, she’s bred to get over a bit of ground so if she lives up to her looks and early potential, she could be more of a Thousand Guineas or Oaks type of filly. She’s a tall, scopey type with a lovely action, so we’re pretty excited about her.”

Aaron is equally convinced that lot 230 – a bay colt by 2018 Blue Diamond Stakes winner Written By – will also furnish into a quality racehorse.

“I think he’s a pretty serious colt,” said Aaron.

“He’s out of a Stakes-placed mare (Vintage Rock) and is a half-brother to a Stakes winner in Ayers Rock, so the pedigree is there.

“He’s a very strong, tall precocious type with good bone definition. He moves really well and I can see him being an early, get-up-and-go type of colt.”

Another colt who should catch the eye of bidders is lot 187, by Dundeel out of Sort After. He is Sort After’s third foal, with the first two having already shown plenty of promise.

“This boy is very good-looking and he’s a lovely mover, so you can see him furnishing into a quality yearling,” said Aaron.

“Sort After’s first colt by Pierro is trained by Gai Waterhouse, and her second foal – a Zoustar filly – we kept and are sending to Michael Freedman’s stables. So we’re pretty hopeful this boy has plenty of upside as well.”

The “rockstar looks” of lot 276, a So You Think colt, should also ensure that he doesn’t go unnoticed by suitors next week.

“This boy is out of a Stakes-placed Lonhro mare, he’s a very good-looking colt in the same mould as his father,” said Aaron.

“He’s got a fluid action, is very easy on the eye and has got a real typical stallion head like his Dad.

“He’s a very correct foal, as they all are in our draft. I know I’m obviously biased, but I’d be pretty confident that most people will agree with me when they inspect them this week.”

To view the full draft on offer from Burnewang North, please click here.

Blue Gum Farm’s Manhattan Rain x Riverina’s Girl Colt (lot 139).

With Manhattan Rain a resident stallion at Blue Gum Farm, it is perhaps no surprise that Principal Phil Campbell has a soft spot for his two colts which form part of the farm’s eight-strong draft at the upcoming Great Southern Weanling Sale.

However, when asked to identify a standout foal using his head rather than his heart, Phil is quick to nominate the farm’s Zoustar colt out of Vergara.

Not only is Zoustar a sire very much in demand, but Vergara’s first two foals are also showing some early promise, with Focus on Fame (by Tavistock) currently in the Lindsay Park stable run by Ben and JD Hayes and the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace partnership training Growl, a 2YO colt by Written Tycoon.

Phil is therefore confident that lot 227 will attract plenty of interest when he goes under the hammer on day one of the sale.

“He’s the third foal out of Vergara, a Group winning mare with a very strong family behind her,” said Phil.

“He’s a lovely big stretchy foal, with good size and good length. He X-rays beautifully, so he’s the obvious one in terms of pedigree and how he presents, and we’d expect there to be some healthy competition for a foal like him.”

As for the pair of Manhattan Rain colts, lots 139 (out of Riverina’s Girl) and 150 (Savannah Moon), Phil believes they are both very appealing propositions and should prove popular with bidders.

“They’re both really nice animals and the ultra-impressive return to Caulfield on Saturday of the stallion’s leading two-year-old, Jigsaw, was perfect timing for them,” he said.

“Lot 139 is a very strong foal with a lovely, laidback disposition and the other fellow is also very neat and tidy, so I’m sure they’ll both have their admirers.

“Only one other stallion currently standing in Victoria can lay claim to producing a Golden Slipper winner. Manhattan Rain has sired a number of other Stakes winners, so whilst he’s been around a little while now and some of the newer stallions might grab more attention, he’s consistently produced the goods.”

The other foal Phil is particularly keen to showcase is lot 211, an Akeed Mofeed colt out of the Irish-bred mare Three Loves.

“He’s another nice horse, very easy on the eye and very athletic-looking,” commented Phil.

“He’s got a terrific skin on him, so I’d like to think he’ll create some interest because he’s a very nice type of horse.”

As for the overall strength of the market, Phil remains confident that – bolstered by healthy online bidding – the sales ring will again be a hive of activity.

“The market has been very strong all year for nice quality animals, and I assume that will continue,” he said.

“That being the case, I’d be very optimistic that our draft will be in high demand.”

To view Blue Gum Farm’s entire draft at the sale, please click here.

Rushton Park’s Written Tycoon x Chakvetadze Filly (lot 312).

Asked to cherry-pick a few highlights from Rushton Park’s impressive crop of weanlings, Kayley Johnson is understandably hesitant to narrow their draft down given how many lots the Tatura-based farm has going through the ring next week.

Kayley and her husband David, who own and run Rushton Park in partnership, will send no fewer than 19 foals to Oaklands Junction for the final sale of the season. But this is certainly not a case of quantity over quality – if anything, the reverse is true.

Buyers will be spoilt for choice, with quality stock by exciting first season sire Extreme Choice complementing some standout offerings by some of the country’s leading stallions, including Written Tycoon, So You Think, Toronado and Deep Field.

Given the mixture of progeny by established stallions and the new sire on the block, Kayley is naturally excited to present the fruits of the farm’s labour and, when pressed, is perhaps most excited by her trio of So You Think foals.

Lots 14 (bay colt out of Kaskata), 162 (bay filly out of Shantou) and 373 (brown colt out of Garden of Eden) all bear the hallmarks of their famous father, with the latter’s profile enhanced by the deeds of his well-named half-sister, All About Eve.

“We have a soft spot for Garden of Eden as we bred and part-own All About Eve, who has one win and two seconds from three career starts – including in the VOBIS Gold Elvstroem Classic last time,” said Kayley.

“We’re hoping she might land some black-type in the spring, so we’re very excited about her and hopefully this colt has some of his half-sister’s talent.

“Lot 14 is out of a Snitzel mare, he was a late foal but I think he’ll surprise a few people when he goes through the ring.”

With Written Tycoon on the brink of claiming the Australian Sires’ Premiership this season, his offspring almost sell themselves and so Kayley is confident lot 312 will have an abundance of admirers.

“This filly is out of Chakvetadze, who was a Stakes-winning mare in Queensland,” she said.

“She’s a really lovely type, so I’d be fairly confident that she’ll sell well for us, especially with Written Tycoon absolutely flying this season.”

Kayley is also expecting lot 232 to be in very high demand, not least due to the limited supply of his sire’s progeny.

“We’re expecting the Extreme Choice colt to be very popular,” said Kayley.

“There are only 18 colts in his current crop, so if you want one you’ll have to move fast!”

With two striking colts by Deep Field (lots 33 and 112) and a typically athletic colt by Swettenham Stud’s in-demand stallion Toronado (lot 73), there really is something for everyone on offer from Rushton Park next week.

To view the full list of Rushton Park’s draft at the sale, please click here.

Tony Krushka’s homebred Tycoon Tara wins the Group 1 Tatts Tiara at Doomben (Trackside Photography).

Four years on from Tycoon Tara’s (Written Tycoon) upset all-the-way victory in the G1 Tattersall’s Tiara, and with her progeny closing in on their track debuts, we caught up with her owner-breeder Tony Krushka.

2017 Tattersall’s Tiara winner Tycoon Tara and her breeder and owner Tony Krushka are living their best post-racing life in the picturesque south-west Victorian town of Port Fairy.

Krushka, the former trainer turned Group 1-winning breeder, runs a boutique accommodation business in the tourist town. In between, he likes to keep a close eye on Tycoon Tara, who as a racehorse was a winner of 10 races and over $1.1 million in prizemoney.

Her win in the final Group 1 of the 2016/17 racing season proved her penultimate start, with Krushka and the other owners, including long-term friend Ross Pierce, electing not to sell her and continue on the journey with her as a broodmare.

“We brought a couple of owners into her, guys who I had always trained for, and we got so much pleasure out of it, we decided to breed with her. If she was 100 per cent mine, I probably would have sold the first foal, but they wanted to keep that and so we are just going to continue on breeding with her,” he told TDN AusNZ.

It is little wonder Krushka and Pierce are keen to continue the story, having been involved with the family for over 30 years, when they purchased a filly called Finest Moss (Twig Moss {Fr}), which Kruskha, then based at Mornington, trained.

“We bought a mare in foal with Finest Moss and I trained her and she won a couple of races and then we bred Mosstara out of her, who was Tycoon Tara’s dam,” he said.

Mosstara (Encores) would win four races for Krushka, including a race at Flemington at $51. He bred with her and her third foal, a filly by Written Tycoon, would arrive a couple of months after he had elected to call it quits on his training career.

“It’s one of those working families. The mother was a handy mare and there were a couple of others out of the family as well. We just made the right call going to Written Tycoon early before he started kicking his main goals, but she was one Named Tycoon Tara, the filly kicked off her career under the care of Bill and Symon Wilde at Warrnambool, winning six races from that stable, including both the G3 Bellmaine S. and G3 Mannerism S. at just her ninth and 10th starts.

“When Symon Wilde had her, she raced well and won a couple of Group races in very good times. She then injured herself and had nearly a year off, after we had to cut half her hoof off, but her times were always good,” Krushka said.

It was at that point, Kruskha and the other owners made the decision to send the then 6-year-old north to Sydney to Peter and Paul Snowden.

“We felt she might be better off up there and results proved it. She raced well down here, but Peter and Paul Snowden were really able to get her to that next level,” he said of the first flagbearers for him,” he said.

In her first four starts for her new stable, Tycoon Tara won a trio of Group races, the G2 Missile S., the G3 Show County Quality and the G2 Golden Pendant.

She had built quite a deal of residual value through her five stakes wins, and while she was initially entered into the Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale in 2017, the goal was not to cash in, but instead double down and try to get that Group 1 win in the Tiara.

Under a perfectly rated ride from Kerrin McEvoy, she jumped to the front and held off subsequent Group 1-winning pair Prompt Response (Beneteau) and In Her Time (Time Thief) on a memorable day for Krushka and the other owners.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling when you get a horse up to that level, especially the way she won her races and the horses she left in her wake. She had some very good horses behind her,” Krushka said.

As her dam Mosstara only had one filly before she died foaling in 2014, it made sense to breed on with the family through Tycoon Tara.

Given pride of place in the paddock of Krushka’s Port Fairy property, she has now produced two fillies, a 2-year-old by Zoustar and a yearling by Pride Of Dubai, both of whom have been retained by Krushka and the other owners.

Her first filly, Zeminnika, is closing in on a debut for trainer Peter Moody.

“She has had a couple of jump-outs and they have both been pleasing. She is just a little bit immature. Her knees are still a bit open, so we have decided to give her a little break and she will go back in work in another couple of weeks and she’ll go and race then,” Krushka said.

“She’s done enough to make us happy. She will need some time and she won’t be one of those ones that will burst onto the scene. She will be productive, but as she gets older, she will get better.”

The Pride Of Dubai yearling filly, named Hillion, has followed her dam’s footsteps to Peter and Paul Snowden.

“She’s gone up to New South Wales to Peter Snowden. She’s just going through that preparation he gives his 2-year-olds. They go in for a while and have a bit of break. He gets them well educated and works out what stage they are at.”

Tycoon Tara subsequently missed to Impending and will make the relatively short 200km journey to Rosemont Stud this spring to visit its new addition Hanseatic.

“We were always very impressed with his racing performances as well as his pedigree. He was unlucky not to win the Blue Diamond and if he had, there would be every chance he’d be up in the Hunter Valley at triple the service fee,” Krushka said of the son of Street Boss (USA).

Tycoon Tara is kept company on Kruskha’s property by a handful of his other racehorses which spell there as well, with Krushkha extolling the virtues of south-west Victoria for both equine and human health.

“Port Fairy was voted the most liveable town in the world under 20,000 people, and that’s how we see it. It really is such a picturesque town, such a great community, with good restaurants, cafes, beaches, you name it, it’s got it,” he said.

While he misses some of the aspects of stable life, having traded in his training career to work in tourism and hospitality a decade ago, he is very comfortable with his decision.

“I really enjoyed training. It was a great profession to be in and the people you meet, it was just fantastic. But once it became a stage where you are racing every day and night. It made it a bit of a chore,” he said.

“There’s a lot involved in it, it’s very labour intensive, and I’m happy doing what I am doing.”

Story by TDN AusNZ (22.06.2021)

MyRacehorse, which hold shares in G1 Kentucky Derby winner Authentic (pictured), are launching in Australia.

MyRacehorse, which celebrated a famous G1 Kentucky Derby success with Authentic (USA) (Into Mischief {USA}) in 2020, has become the latest player to enter the micro-ownership space in Australia with five racehorses made available to purchase.

Micro-ownership has become increasingly popular in the global thoroughbred industry in recent years, with the model creating affordable micro-shares of as little as 0.01 per cent, allowing greater access to racehorses sourced at a premium price.

The model has gained particular traction in Australia, which has one of the highest rates of racehorse ownership in the world, spearheaded by local outfit MiRunners, which has evolved the concept to also include MiEverest and The Racing League.

That MyRacehorse has become the first international micro-ownership company to enter the Australian space is far from surprising, given the success it had through the Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup heroics of Authentic.

MyRacehorse, first set up in 2018, purchased a 12.5 per cent share of Authentic after he finished runner-up in the G1 Santa Anita Derby in June last year and subsequently sold 12,500 micro-shares of 0.01 per cent at US$206 (AU$268).

When the colt saluted in the famous ‘Run For The Roses’ at Churchill Downs in a delayed Derby run in September, over 5000 owners celebrated the success, including several based in Australia.

The son of Into Mischief (USA) would go on to claim the G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic in November before embarking on a stud career at Spendthrift Farm in Kentucky.

Authentic’s success bought global prominence to the micro-ownership concept, and Founder and CEO Michael Behrens has wasted no time looking to establish a presence in Australia. Via Spendthrift Australia’s top-end bloodstock purchases, MyRacehorse will give the everyday Australian access to well-related commercial prospects in training with some of Australia’s leading trainers: Hawkes Racing, Mark Newnham, Tony and Calvin McEvoy and Bjorn Baker.

Their business model differs from others in the market, by having only one set fee and no ongoing costs thereafter.

“The quality of horse racing in Australia is world class and we’re excited to be launching MyRacehorse Down Under as we commence our global expansion,” Behrens said.

“We believe that however you enjoy racing, by having a vested interest in an elite racehorse or racing prospect exponentially increases the enjoyment of the sport. It also makes it incredibly easy to share with friends and family.

“We anticipate MyRacehorse micro-shares to be a real catalyst in increasing engagement with existing fans and attracting new fans through the mass accessibility of one of the greatest thrills in sport, owning an elite racehorse.

“I wanted more people to enjoy racing, and it became increasingly obvious that low-cost ownership that enabled fans to compete at the highest level was the best way to accomplish that goal.”

Owners, who pay no ongoing fees, receive a proportionate share of any prizemoney and/or sale proceeds from their horse, with all the usual perks of racehorse ownership in terms of access to regular updates from trainers, analysts, etc., as well as access to exclusive events with other owners and access to the raceday experience. MyRacehorse helps facilitate this through a mobile app.

Among the five horses which are part of the immediate offering in Australia is the 2-year-old filly Rock Chant (Fastnet Rock), who was purchased for $300,000 by Spendthrift Australia at the 2020 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale and is currently in work with Bjorn Baker.

“I’m excited to be partnering with MyRacehorse and continuing to train Australia’s top racehorses under a new ownership model. I’ve spent the first half of 2021 training Rock Chant, who’s already impressing at trackwork. I’m looking forward to seeing her get to the races in the coming months,” Baker said in a statement.

As an example of the pricing structure, micro-shares in Rock Chant, who is out of Aaralyn (Choisir), making her a three-quarter sister to Group 1 winner Amicus (Fastnet Rock), are being offered at $70 apiece. That is the only fee paid for the lifetime of the horse’s racing career.

MyRacehorse is also offering shares in Inclement, the Frosted (USA) 2-year-old half-sister to multiple Group 1 winner Santa Ana Lane (Lope De Vega {Ire}), who cost Spendthrift Australia $650,000 as a yearling, for $140 a share. She is in training with Team Hawkes.

Also featuring is the $1.2 million colt by Written Tycoon out of Taqaseem (Medaglia D’Oro {USA}) purchased by Spendthrift Australia at this year’s Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, whose microshare price is $220 and will also be trained by Team Hawkes.

Newnham will train the Redoute’s Choice colt out of the Group 1 winner Once Were Wild (Johannesburg {USA}), which Spendthrift Australia purchased for $340,000 at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale. His micro-share price is $90 per 0.01 per cent.

At this stage, all four horses listed will be co-owned with Spendthrift, which has worked closely with MyRacehorse in the United States, including with Authentic.

MyRacehorse also has engaged media personality Jason Richardson as an ambassador.

“The more owners involved in racing, the greater the sport becomes. MyRacehorse gives fans a chance be involved in runners with elite pedigrees for a small, one-off cost,” said Richardson.

Story by TDN AusNZ (17.6.2021)

Aktolgali (Adelaide) ridden by Jack Hill, wins at Bendigo, 20.6.21. (Brett Holburt/Racing Photos)

Sired by Cox Plate winner Adelaide, the colt offered by Yarran Thoroughbreds at the 2020 Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale stood out for one very significant reason.

He was the only yearling by Adelaide offered at the sale.

And it’s fair to say that potential buyers weren’t actually forming a queue to inspect the Victorian-bred colt.

In fact, the first time respected veteran South Australian trainer John Hickmott laid eyes on the colt was when he was parading around in the sale’s ring about to go under the hammer.

Hickmott, the father of Melbourne Cup winning trainer Robert Hickmott, liked what he saw and parted with a modest $10,000.

And there has been a quick return on the initial outlay with the now gelding racing as Aktolgali, and trained by Robert at Caulfield, winning his second start at Bendigo last Sunday.

The win in the sixth heat (1600m) of the Taj Rossi Series has guaranteed the two-year-old a start in the $160,000 final of the series, also over 1600m, at Flemington on July 3.

Aktolgali’s win, at just his second start after an unplaced debut over 1400m at Sandown earlier this month, was a big money spinner for the owners who picked up $19,250 for first prize and VOBIS bonuses of $22,400.

“He has always given the impression that he is going to be a nice three-year-old,” Robert Hickmott said.

“He was just such a tough bugger and has never left an oat since the day we’ve had him in the stable.

“He is on track for that Taj Rossi final and has pulled up well. Who knows he might go onto that 1800m race, the Byerley Handicap (1800m) at Flemington the way he is training on.”

Hickmott said he has no doubt that Aktolgali will eventually stretch out to 2400m.

“He will get a mile and a half easy. He is out of a Grey Swallow mare,” he said.

“He was always a good bodied horse and a stayer in the making.

“I always suggested that he would make the grade. Not that he surprised me with his win and we had something on him and thought he was huge overs.

“He worked with the favourite (the unplaced Francie Girl) on Tuesday morning and had its measure which gave us a bit of confidence. We knew he had the improvement in him.

“He wasn’t too bad in his first run and only got beaten four and a half lengths and there was plenty of merit in his run.”

Hickmott said his father spotted the Adelaide colt at the sales, liked him and decide to buy him.

“And it wasn’t until we got back to the farm that I asked what he was going to with him and he said you can syndicate him and he is all yours.

“We really liked him and all credit to the old man.”

He said the VOBIS bonuses from the Bendigo win were great for the owners who are also eyeing big prizemoney, up to $200,000, in his next two runs.

Hickmott said he had received a congratulatory text from the horse’s breeder, David Addison at Mockingbird Hill.

But he said Addison must take a lot of credit for the way he raised the horse.

“I have never seen a horse eat like him,” he said.

Hickmott said he would also be looking at the others out of the mare.

Yarran Thoroughbred’s John Doherty said the Adelaide colt was a lovely yearling when presented at the sales.

“He was actually just picked out of the parade ring by the guy who bought him,” Doherty said.

“He didn’t see him before and just liked his swagger around the parade ring and he is a good judge.

“And he was always an athletic horse, but never an early looking horse.

“I think Adelaide is one of those stallions that didn’t get the best of the broodmares, but he is doing an okay job.”

Doherty said people weren’t looking to buy Adelaide horses at the sale and no-one requested a specific inspection of the colt.

He said the colt just sold himself when he was walking around the parade ring.

“He was the only by Adelaide in the sale and that by itself tells you that the stallion wasn’t well supported,” Doherty said.

“The result he is getting from small numbers is pretty good.”

Doherty said Addison told him he wanted the horse sold and wasn’t going to race the colt.

“There were only two (bidders) on him and as I said, the horse was hardly out of his stable,” he said.

“He is a racehorse now, but he was a sort of a lean, mean horse then, if you know what I mean.

“They like to buy those 1000m stocky horses and he wasn’t that. Patience is a virtue and I am delighted for his people.”

Doherty said Addison put a fair amount of time into his matings and liked to produce racehorses which aren’t necessarily the sales horse type.

He said racing and sales were a different market.

Doherty said that no prospective buyer came down specifically to see the Adelaide colt at the sales and was only taken out for an inspection when potential buyers asked to look at Yarran’s entire draft.

“No one came down specifically looking for an Adelaide,” he said.

“It’s what makes this whole business tick along and you don’t have to spend $2 million on a horse to get a racehorse.

“I’m sure David is delighted as well. He is in the business of breeding good horses and this is another one.’’

David Addison, who has been a member of Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria since 1974, was disappointed the colt sold for the equivalent of his service fee which has since been reduced by Coolmore to $5000.

Addison said they raced a close relation of Aktolgali, a mare named Albonetti (Ustinov x Commanding Performer), which won five races and was a half-sister to Aktolgali’s dam, La Bahia (Grey Swallow).

He said Aktolgali’s win reminded him of the way Albonetti won her races.

“Given that was his second start and he looked pretty green in the whole thing but when he finally got his mind on the job, saw where he was going, the way he finished was very much like Albonetti was early in her career when she was learning her trade.

“I think that horse could go onto be quite something.”

Addison, who also runs sheep on his 235-acre Longwood farm, said that up until last week they had five active broodmares, but unfortunately Albonetti died last Monday.

“We have got four active broodmares at the moment but we have had more in the past and we have limited the numbers a little bit in recent times,” he said.

“We prefer to sell everything we breed but never mind what you prefer to do as the market dictates what you can do in many cases.”

La Bahia is in foal to Adelaide again and due to foal this breeding season.

Addison said he is staggered that more people haven’t gone to Adelaide and describes him as a stunning horse and says people only have to look at his Cox Plate win.

“Australians seem to have some aversion to Galileo as a sire and I can’t understand it as he was a world-class stallion and Adelaide was a top-class performer of his,” he said.

Addison said he was “stunned” when Aktolgali reached only $10,000 when he was expecting around the $50,000 mark.

“He was a really nice horse with a great attitude and a great everything,” he said.

Addison, who has been breeding horses since 1985, got involved with his horses through his late wife, Diana Chappel, whose sister was Vanda Chappel Fahler, from the well-known racing family.

He said he was of a vintage where there were always horses in his life – the milkman and baker on horse and buggy.

“And then when I met my late wife, I found myself in the racing world,” he said.

“And we actually raced our first horse in 1969, a steeplechaser called Too Honest.

“Cliff Fahler was of course my brother-in-law and we had horses with him and Marcus Fahler, his son, still trains for us.”

Addison said he’ll be trackside at Flemington to watch Aktolgali race in the final of the Taj Rossi series.

Merle The Pearl (Anacheeva) became the 100th winner sired by a Riverbank Farm stallion this season. (Pat Scala/Racing Photos)

Riverbank Stud at Benalla reached a remarkable milestone last Wednesday when the Charlotte Littlefield-trained Merle The Pearl scored an impressive victory at Sandown.

It marked the 100th winner sired this season by a Riverbank stallion.

In this case, the three-year-old winning gelding is a son of Anacheeva.

Perhaps the most exciting and best result for Riverbank came on Saturday at Flemington, when Wodonga trainer Sylvia Thompson’s Brenlyn’s Trooper was beaten into first place by half a neck in the A.R. Creswick Stakes (1200m) by the Ken and Kasey Keys trained Free To Move, which started at $101.

Brenlyn’s Trooper, also a huge outsider at $81, was sired by Riverbank’s Redente, an unraced son of Redoute’s Choice, and out of Group 1 winning mare Stella Cadente (Centaine x Temple Fire).

It was the first time any of Redente’s progeny have won black type.

While there was plenty of disappointment for Brenlyn’s Trooper’s trainer and owners in just failing to win, it was a case of jubilation for Cranbourne father and daughter training team, Ken and Kasey Keys, as well as Bucklee Farm’s Leeanne Smith who bred the gelding which was sold for just $8000 at the 2019 VOBIS Gold Yearling Sale.

Kasey had selected the yearling, by Unencumbered, who died in 2018, and said she was prepared to go up to $25,000 to secure the horse that is out of Canhill (Dangerous x Canned Music).

Riverbank, which is operated by Russell Osborne and his veterinary wife Dr Caroline Duddy, stand seven stallions – Anacheeva, Boulder City, Prince of Caviar, Redente, Skilled, Von Costa De Hero and Wayed Zain – and all are aimed at the breeder who wants an economical service fee so they can breed to race.

Redente stands at only $3300, while Boulder City is the most expensive of Riverbank’s stallions at $5500. Veterinary fees are included in the price.

The stallions that achieved the century were:

  1. REDNETE: (Redoute’s Choice-Stella Cadente. Fee $3,300): 44 wins.
  2. SKILLED: (Commands x Dextrous. Fee $3,300):  28 wins.
  3. VON COSTA DE HERO: (Encosta De Lago x Piavonic. Fee $2200): 15 wins.
  4. ANACHEEVA: (Anabaa x Monroe Magic. Fee $3,300): 13 wins.

And the winners kept coming on Monday for Riverbank and Russell Osborne, who is also a trainer, when Red Impulse (Redente) and Dancing Duck (Von Costa De Hero) both won at Wangaratta.

Both horses have now each won more than $80,000 and are raced by Russell and Caroline.

Caroline said Brenlyn’s Trooper could have pinched victory at Flemington if he had not received a bump at a crucial stage of the race.

“We were delighted to have him running second as it was our first stakes placing for Redente,” she said.

“It’s fantastic, absolutely fantastic.”

Caroline said Riverbank was all about breeding to race.

She said a stallion like Redente had got his runners to race the hard way.

“He started out with small books of lesser mares and he just keeps churning out the winners and I have always believed he was going to get a stakes horse,” Caroline said.

“It’s a matter of time.

“I have got no doubt that if he got a big book of mares, sort of top-shelf mares, he wouldn’t be standing at Riverbank for three grand, I can tell you that.

“The thing about Redente is that he is always running over the 60 per cent mark. They just come out and win and you get yourself a really nice bread and butter horse that just keeps going to the races and picking up a cheque.

“We actually adore the horse and he has put our farm on the map and is very much the backbone of the farm for us and he’ll never leave the farm. He’ll be here for ever.”

Redente’s first season at stud was in 2009 when he served 49 mares, while his biggest books were 81 in 2015 and 104 in 2016. He served 42 mares last season.

Caroline said that the recognition of Redente’s first stakes placed horse was perfect timing coming into the breeding season.

“It keeps everything current and in breeders’ minds,” she said.

“We have certainly already got quite a few mares booked to him again this year and we are very happy with it.”

Caroline said she expects Redente, who was unraced because of a coffin bone injury and began his stud career  as a three-year-old, to again get a book of around 50 mares for the coming breeding season, but interest in him could push the bookings higher.

She said the most winners Riverbank stallions had produced in the past was in the seventies last year.

“The thing is that the Von Costas just get better as they get older,” she said.

“And I think we are starting to see the flow on effects of the couple of bigger books Redente did a few years ago and there are just more of them out there.

“And we are just very excited, too, about what is coming through with Wayed Zain and Boulder City and what they might hold in store for us in the future.”

Caroline said it was just such a nice story with an Unencumbered and a Redente running first and second in a stakes race at Flemington.

“I just think it is just a fantastic result for Victoria,” she said.

“Those are the results you like to see.”

She said there was no correlation to what is paid for a yearling in the sale ring as to what they may actually earn on the track.

“You are paying for potential and there is a big disparity between the commercial breeders breeding to sell a yearling as opposed to our breeders here just breeding to try to have a nice racehorse that will come out and keep coming home with a cheque,” she said.

Caroline said they were very much grassroots at Riverbank Farm where their clients know their horses inside out and love their mares and they are breeding for themselves, which is very different to the commercial owners who can see it as a commodity.

“We are what we say we are and there are no hidden agendas,” she said.

“Redente is very good value at three grand,” she said.

“And there are no hidden costs.”

And for trainer Sylvia Thompson, she said Brenlyn’s Trooper had lived up to everything he had been set for and the plan was to always go to Flemington last Saturday.

With just six starts, the gelding has now won three races and been second twice, including his second start when he was beaten a length at Moonee Valley last December.

And with a bit of any easier run through the field, Sylvia also believes the result might have been different last Saturday.

“I couldn’t have been happier with him,” she said.

“I was surprised at his odds but they were pretty good horses and I suppose he is the new kid on the block and one bloke (tipster) did pick him to run third.

“His run before that when we went to Flemington just to have a look at the straight, because he hadn’t been down it and I knew the 1100m would be a bit short, but he was off the bridle most of the way to keep touch, and he had reasons for that but still ran fifth.

“I only had a bush jockey on, I’m a bush trainer and they’d be looking at all of that and saying she won’t be of any danger.

“He has been real good.”

Sylvia’s relationship with Riverbank Farm goes back a long way and she remembers sending broodmares to the stud when it was operated by Russell’s father Adrian.

“I’ve always had a good relationship with Adrian and we used to race quite a few horses for him,” she said.

“We’d lease them off him.”

Sylvia had no hesitation in recommending to her sister Lyn and husband Brendan Windsor to send Brenlyn’s Trooper’s dam, One For The Kids (Hold That Tiger x Palais D’Or), to Redente.

“There is nothing wrong with Redente’s breeding, even though he didn’t race,” she said.

“He is beautifully bred and he is just up the road from us.

“And though we had the mother of Trooper, she was always lame and I did suggest to them to put her to a stallion and we could just go up the road to Russell’s and that was the go there.

“At that stage, Adrian had only him (Redente) and I think Hillman.

“He is getting winners everywhere and you look at the results on a Monday and there are plenty. But he hasn’t got anything outstanding and I reckon that’s only because he hasn’t had a topline broodmare go to him and there have only really bush ones that have gone to him.

“Obviously, the breeding of Trooper’s mother clicks with him.”

Sylvia’s sister Lyn Windsor and her husband Brendan Windsor bred Brenlyn’s Trooper from their mare One For The Kids (Hold That Tiger x Palais D’Or) which they raced but had only two unplaced starts.

“She went by the wayside and that’s how the breeding happened,” she said.

“They (Brendan and Lyn) had one other horse with me before that and he wasn’t much good and the day we thought he was going to win a race it was a three horse field at Albury in a 2000m race. And you wouldn’t believe it, he got kicked behind the barriers and they scratched him.”

One For The Kids’ first foal was by Redente, but the gelding never made it to the races because of injury, while her next foal, Benjamery (Hillman) has won two races and been placed seven times from 29 starts.

The mare was not served in 2013 and 2015 and then produced Brenlyn’s Trooper. Currently with a filly by Boulder City, the mare was also not served in 2017 and 2018.

The Thompson family has also bred another son of Redente, Chipsaredown, which Sylvia describes as pretty handy.

“I have got a couple of two-year-olds by Redente and a couple of yearlings and a couple are in foal to him,” she said.

“I have always supported them. We have one by Skilled and a Boulder City and we have a couple by Wayed Zain.”

Despite some offers to buy Brenlyn’s Trooper, the Windsor family is enjoying the success with the best horse they have had.

You are invited to the Leneva Park Private Stallion Parade

Venue – Leneva Park Seymour, 830 Northwood Road Seymour VIC 3660

Dates – Thursday 17th June and Tuesday 22nd June 2021

Time –  2pm

Host – Mick Sharkie


FIERCE IMPACT our first stallion is the 3 x G1 winning miler & AUS Champion miler, he will stand his first season at stud with Leneva Park for $16,500 (inc GST) in 2021.

A fantastic opportunity to breed to a proven elite racehorse – not a flash in the pan star – for under $20,000.

ROYAL MEETING our second stallion and in my opinion of one the best value stallions in Victoria at $11,000 (inc GST) in 2021.

Plain and simple – I am Invincible, Brazen Beau, Shalaa and Hellbent… The Invincible Spirit line SELLS in the auction ring and RUNS under Australian conditions!

To RSVP, please email Mitchell Brown with your preferred date on mitch@lenevapark.com.au or call M: 0447 366 790.

Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria (TBV) is pleased to announce that Avenel Equine Hospital, who have been valuable sponsors for over five years have re-signed a formal partnership agreement with TBV for another two years.

Avenel Equine Hospital is a full-service equine hospital located in the heart of Victoria’s Thoroughbred breeding region. The practice offers a comprehensive On Farm service to equine clients in the local area (Avenel, Nagambie, Seymour and Euroa) as well as intensive care and surgical services at their purpose-built hospital.

Avenel Equine Hospital have played a significant role in Victoria since they opened their doors and are committed to providing Victorian breeders with a premium and holistic service for all their horse’s needs.

Avenel Equine Hospital currently service some of the leading Victorian farms and have partnered with TBV on various projects. Last year, Avenel Equine Hospital partnered with TBV to bring members a pre-season breeding seminar, which once again will be held across a series of webinars this year throughout July.

Dr Katie Wilcox, Director of Avenel Equine Hospital commented:

We are delighted to continue our relationship with Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria which has been invaluable in allowing us to connect with clients and the wider industry. Avenel Equine Hospital has continued to grow with the support of Victorian Farms and we are currently expanding our facilities and services in response to this. It is an exciting time for our business and the Thoroughbred breeding industry in Victoria.”

TBV Executive Officer, Charmein Bukovec is delighted to have Avenel Equine Hospital continue to support the industry, commenting:

“Katie and the team at Avenel Equine Hospital have been partners with TBV and friends of the Victorian breeding industry for quite some time. I am delighted that we are able to continue this relationship but more importantly offer Victorian breeders a premium service through our partnership with Avenel.”

The organisation remains strongly committed to the success of the Victorian breeding industry, a position that is made clear by their long-standing sponsorship of Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria.

Find out more about Avenel Equine Hospital’s services by clicking here.

Moorookyle Park’s beloved stallion, Ustinov

So whatever happened to the stallion Ustinov, a Group 2 winner for the legendary Bart Cummings who also trained the horse’s champion dam Let’s Elope to seven consecutive victories, including the 1991 Caulfield and Melbourne Cups?

Let’s Elope finished her racing career in America where she won first-up over 1710m at Hollywood Park before returning to Australia and the breeding barn, where she produced five foals.

Ustinov, sired by American stallion Seeking The Gold and the first of Let’s Elope’s Australian foals, finished his career with two wins, five seconds and three thirds for prizemoney of $654,935 from23 starts when he retired from the track in 2003.

The now virtually retired 22-year-old Ustinov had his name back in the winner’s list on Saturday, courtesy of his three-year-old son, Trust But Verify that broke through for a maiden victory over 2400m during Swan Hill’s three day Cup meeting.

Trained at Ballarat by Tammy Birnie, it was the gelding’s fifth race and his victory came off a third at Echuca late last month.

Ustinov first stood at stud in 2003 but only ever had small books of mares, with his biggest being 42 in 2013.

He has spent the past several years at Nioka Wozny’s Moorookyle Thoroughbreds at Smeaton where the stallion serves the occasional thoroughbred mare, along with some Irish Sport Horse mares.

Nioka said Ustinov only serves a handful of mares and is living an extremely charmed and pampered life which includes keeping him warm with five rugs during winter.

“He lives like an absolute king and eats carrots every day and that’s how he lives his life out,” she said.

“He is basically my pet. He is a beautiful horse and I adore him.

“I’ve had him for quite a while now, eight or nine years.

“In the early days he covered 20 and then 45 mares but he is getting old now and I just want to look after him and give him a good life.

“He covers a few of the Irish Sport Horse mares and that sort of thing and they can all jump, and they have got brains like him.

“I won’t over-use him and I don’t advertise him anymore and people sort of know he is here. A few of them come to him but by and large I would just prefer that he lived his days out not working too hard, but I’m sure he really doesn’t complain.”

Nioka also stands Cecconi (Encosta De Lago x Tonicity) and Jayemzed (Lion Cavern x Te Akua) but they also only serve a handful of mares. Widden Valley (Anabaa x Rose Archway) might also stand at her farm this year.

“I don’t really advertise my stallions and I still cover mares with them, but I really just do the walk-ins and the foaling down and that sort of thing now,” Nioka said.

“With a little stud like this you can’t make money as they are not commercial stallions.

“I have sort of really leaned away from that and love my stallions and handling them, but it’s not a money-making thing.”

Nioka offers a special service with a band of mares that act as foster mares.

“I have got a really nice bunch of broodmares and match the foals that have lost their mum straight on to them,” she said.

“I have got a specific bunch of mares that I do that with and I have found that I enjoy that and make more money out of it.

“It’s a fairly niche sort of thing and is not something that everyone can sort of do. You have got to have the right mares and a controlled environment because you are messing with nature in a sense.

“I have got my system that works for me down pat and I think everyone who does it has their own system but it’s not something you can kind of say ‘we’ll just do that.’ There is a bit of a thing to it.”

Nioka said that breeders who lose a mare are very stressed and upset and describes it as a traumatic and sad experience.

She said that with service she offers, the breeders can “handball” their foal to her.

“I just do my job and offer them back a package,” Nioka said.

“It’s really stressful for people and feeding an orphan foal is actually really tough as well.

“And for people who have lost a mare and are trying to feed an orphan foal, then they are trying to get a mare that has lost a foal to put on it. But it doesn’t always work.”

Nioka said the mares she has on standby are those she offers the service with each year and knowing the horses inside and out makes a big difference.

The horses in the process of fostering are only handled by Nioka and one of her workers – and the vet.

“So nothing changes for them either so it works well,” she said.

“The mare and the foal go to the other farms and I have one mare that has just come home from South Australia, so I let them take them but make sure everything is perfect before they go.

“Most of the horses go off our farm.”

Nioka still dabbles in breeding with her four broodmares, including stakes winning American mare Lion D N A who is in foal to Spendthrift stallion Vino Rosso (USA).

“And I just sold her Frosted colt earlier this year at Adelaide for $80,000 after he was passed in. He is going to Johnny O’Connor in South Australia. He does a really good job, and the horse will get a good opportunity,” she said.

“I have still got a few of my own mares but I’m definitely not breeding as many as I used to.”

The dam of Swan Hill winner Trust But Verify was the last foal Nioka bred from Minge Cove (USA) which is now one of the farm’s foster mares.

“She is actually my star foster mare,” Nioka said.

“And she just wasn’t commercial but she is a beautiful horse and just beautiful to handle and she would mother a kitten. She has raised quite a few foster foals.”

Nioka said trainer Tammy Birnie is a friend and was thrilled to see Trust But Verify win and predicts the gelding will only get better.

And Tammy, a full-time nurse who has only been training for just more than a year, saw Trust But Verify, offered for sale on online auction and placed the only bid.

“No one bid against me, and I got him for the minimum – $600,” she said.

“He had a paddock mate for sale at the same time and they are in the background of each other’s photos and it went for $10,000.”

Tammy said she honestly did know why she got the horse so cheaply and was happy with her purchase when she started breaking him in.

“There are no issues with him whatsoever and he is beautifully sound and has a great nature,” she said.

“I purchased one off Nioka privately the year prior and unfortunately he didn’t make it to the races because of sesamoid issues and he was really well handled and she does a fantastic job with them so I wasn’t going to pass up on another one.”

Tammy had her first winner with Sun Samurai (Fighting Sun x Naughty Minx) in a maiden at Geelong in April and he won his next start a month later, also at Geelong.

A former track rider, Tammy has another two horses which are unraced.

“I had ridden track work as soon as I left high school and that was like a part-time job and what’s the word for it, it’s like a disease when you get into horses and you just can’t stop,” she said.”

“I did the nursing to finance myself into the horses.”

Tammy, who has been nursing for four years, celebrated her 33rd birthday last week.

Trust But Verify ridden by Will Gordon (outside) wins the Jarrod Arentz Electrical & Solar Solutions Maiden Plate at Swan Hill, 12.6.21. (Brendan McCarthy/Racing Photos)

Rosemont Stud’s resident stallion, Starspangledbanner

Rosemont Stud principal Anthony Mithen talks with a little bit of frustration when discussions about his shuttle stallion Starspangledbanner constantly centre on so-called fertility issues with the Australian bred 14-year-old.

Mithen points to an article in the British Racing Post this week about Starspangledbanner’s statistics.

“He is absolutely lighting it up in the UK with his two-year-olds this season,” Mithen said.

“He has got three of the top 10 rated two-year-olds so far in the season.

“He was the front page story in the Racing Post.”

Mithen said Starspangledbanner’s current batch of top UK two-year-olds show how good a stallion he is and just as importantly that his fertility should no longer be a concern for the once hesitant breeders.

The Racing Post reports that so far this year Starspangledbanner (Choisir x Gold Anthem) has sired eight northern hemisphere two-year-old winners at a strike rate of 38 percent. His current juvenile crop of 87 two-year-olds to run for him this season is his biggest, compared to the 44 he sired in his first two northern hemisphere crops combined.

Starspangledbanner, who two Group 1 races in Australia and another two in England, is standing at Coolmore’s Castlehyde Stud for 22,500 euros and he has received great support from breeders in Ireland, the UK and Europe.

Mithen is quick to point out Starspangledbanner’s performance at stud.

“The fact is that he is now equal to our most fertile stallion on the farm,’’ Mithen said.

“He is a normal, fertile horse and no one should even consider that he is not any of that.

“Everyone talks Starspangledbanner and the words they think of are fertility problems and it’s as tag that he has thankfully been able to shake off in Europe.

“He has got more than 100 mares in foal up there this season and he is still covering and I think he got 120 in foal last year there and they have just put all that talk to bed.”

Mithen said that every conversation he has in Australia when he is getting a booking to Starspangledbanner is that breeders say they are just worried about getting their mare in foal to the stallion.

He tells breeders that they have as good a chance of getting their mare in foal to Starspangledbanner as they are with any other stallion in the country.

He said the Australian market had been a bit slow to realise that any fertility issues with the stallion was a thing of the past.

“I think that has affected the number of mares that he has got,” he said.

“We covered 72 mares last year, but at $15,000 this year he should be getting 150 mares and he would cope with that too.”

Mithen said Rosemont still has some exciting progeny to come from Starspangledbanner, including a “ripper” two-year-old with Peter Moody.

“We are going to enjoy the benefits and I would just like everyone else to as well,” he said.

“At 15 grand he is unbelievably cheap for the quality of the horse he gets you.”

Mithen was praising Starspangledbanner after Brooklyn Hustle followed up her Group 3 victory in the Proud Miss Stakes (1200m) with a win in the Group 2 Dane Ripper Stakes (1300m) at Eagle Farm last Saturday.

“It was very satisfying to have a horse by our stallion that we put so much time and energy into to perform like that and get her day in the sun,” Mithen said.

“I know she won the Group 3 over in Adelaide the start before but this race was a Group 2 in name only but it was a proper Group 1 race for mares on Saturday.

“She has given them a head start and a beating and it was unbelievable.”

And what made Mithen and his wife Selina even happier was that they found out on the eve of the race that they could fly to Queensland from Victoria’s COVID-19 lockdown.

“Being in regional Victoria we could go,” Mithen said.

“We were running around on Friday trying to finish off the day and Nigel (Austin) text me and said he had some mates in Brisbane and said do you reckon we can get them four tickets to the races.

“I said oh yeah we have got three runners on the day and no one is going and I’m sure I’ll be able to organise that.

“Ryan McEvoy (Rosemont General Manager of Bloodstock) swung into gear and was making a phone call and as he was ringing the Race Club, I got a text from Selina saying do you want to go to Brisbane and I said what is she talking about.

“So I rang and said what are you on about and she said they have opened up to regional Victoria today. I said does that me we can go and she said seemingly as we are from regional Victoria and haven’t been to Melbourne.

“I went into the office and Ryan was asking for four tickets and I said make it six, I might be going. That was at five on Friday afternoon and we were on an 8.20am flight on Saturday morning and raced up there and they all ran well.”

Mithen said Starosa (Starspangledbanner x Sardaaj) ran a nice race, Mr Quickie (Shamus Award x Special Favour) was excellent but a bit stiff to be caught having to dive up the inside and was beaten less than a length in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap to finish fourth.

“And then the best was yet to come with Brooklyn Hustle,” Mithen said.

Unfortunately for Jason Warren, who trains in partnership with Warren Krongold, the location of his Mornington Peninsula stable is classified as metropolitan Melbourne and he could not travel to Queensland last week.

He said it was disappointing not to be able to saddle-up his good horse in a Group 2 race when the mare was a big chance.

But Warren said it made it a lot easier to accept it when Brooklyn Hustle came from last in the 15 horse field to win.

“I have just seen the sectionals now and it was a proper Group performance, that’s for sure,” he said.

“She has always shown plenty and it was just nice to get her out to a distance where she gets a chance to travel before she is asked to sprint.

“And she usually uses her sprint up from the 600m to the 200m to get into her races, so it all looks positive for the Tatts Tiara (on June 26). It will be a red hot race as you can imagine, but I wouldn’t be swapping our girl for anything.

“It’s set weights and mares that have already won a Group 1 race get in very well at the weights to a horse like her that hasn’t won a Group 1 yet.”

Warren said it was good to see Mithen make the speech and accept the trophy.

He said that Brooklyn Hustle had always shown plenty of ability from her first race when she beat Yes Yes Yes – which went onto win The Everest – by two lengths over 1000m at Moonee Valley.

“She has had a few issues, a throat issue and then had a little chip removed as a three-year-old so it sort of ruled out more than six months of her three-year-old career,” Warren said.

“And even on a heavy track that she doesn’t handle, she was beaten a small margin in a Coolmore. She has been there all the way through and wasn’t beaten far in a Blue Diamond when she went around the whole field.”

Warren said he got Brooklyn Hustle to train after speaking to Mithen about another horse he was interested in buying a share in.

“It was a nice colt I had at the time,” he said.

“But he said they’d decided against buying into that particular horse but appreciated the offer and said they’d give me a nice filly to train, and they sent her over.”

Warren said that when Brooklyn Hustle got off the float he told people that she looked like the Group winning mare Scandinavia with the blonde mane and tail.

“And I said she moves like her too,” he said.

“I was taken with her the first day I saw her and it was very nice of them to send her over to us. It’s been a great ride.”

Warren said that Brooklyn Hustle was out of a Pivotal (GB) mare, Joint Aspiration (GB).

“Mitho was actually overseas at the mare sale at Newmarket when Brooklyn had her first start and I told him that I thought she’d run well and be hard to beat,” he said.

“And then there was the boom on Yes Yes Yes having his first start and I didn’t know if we’d beat it, but she give him windburn that day.

“Mitho then went and bought the sibling out of the same mare, a half-sister to Brooklyn Hustle, that very next day.”

Warren said the Rosemont crew now have a couple of valuable mares from the family.

No Effort, with jockey Carleen Hefel, wins the Ladbrokes Bet Ticker Handicap at Ladbrokes Park Hillside, 12.6.21.(George Salpigtidis/Racing Photos)

Cranbourne trainer Gavin Bedggood walked away from Sandown on Saturday with a double and more admiration for the two horses that did it for him – mare No Effort and gelding Sir Kalahad.

Both horses were ridden by Cranbourne-based apprentice Carleen Hefel who used her three-kilo city claim to the ultimate advantage by leading all the way on No Effort and virtually doing the same on Sir Kalahad, who was smashed in the betting to start favourite.

No Effort’s win further enhanced the reputation of the quirky mare that races in the distinctive leopard-print colours and black pom pom, which were designed and registered by the late Melissah Buys who bred the horse with her partner Ross Hennessy at Monomeith Stud.

The mare was nearly a four-year-old before she was broken in and the reason is simple – no one could catch her.

But that was until Cranbourne farrier, trainer and all round horseman Allan Cooper lobbed at Monomeith and used all his years of experience to catch her, load her onto his float and transport her to his property to break her in.

No Effort, the daughter of Chatswood Stud stallion Reward For Effort, then hit the racetrack in search of an elusive maiden win. In fact, she hit the race track 17 times before her first win came at Moe in July of 2019.

It was then a case of a flurry of wins as the staying mare notched up five consecutive victories, including one at Caulfield and then at Cranbourne in the prestigious Pinker Pinker Plate.

Everything was going well for No Effort and Cooper before he was diagnosed with cancer and then suffered a stroke while in an induced coma. The doctors warned that he wouldn’t make it, but he miraculously did, but his training and working days were over.

And when Cooper could no longer train No Effort, he suggested to owners Hennessy and Geoff Kemp that former jumps jockey Bedggood, who had known the pair for around 20 years, was the man to take over.

With three wins with the mare, Bedggood predicts there are more to come.

“It was a great weekend,” Bedggood said.

“I thought the mare would go there and be pretty hard to beat and I was probably only fifty-fifty of running him (Sir Kalahad) and while I was really happy with the horse, I just thought there was a lot of pressure on paper.

“Normally he wins his races when he can find the front and get a couple of easy sectionals, but he ran away from them and won well.

“Carleen did a great job and rode them really well.”

Bedggood said he was lucky enough to get the mare, she had been a great advertisement for the stable and he was thankful for Cooper recommending that he train the horse.

“I saw Allan last week and he gets around with a frame at the moment, but 12 months ago they said he was going to die, and he has obviously made a big improvement from where he was.

“He had cancer in his spine and then when he was in an induced coma he had a stroke and they didn’t think he’d live. He had to learn to walk and all that sort of thing.”

Bedggood said No Effort was the first horse he had trained by Chatswood Stud stallion Reward For Effort.

“She is not the most pleasant of horses and can be a bit nasty sometimes, and they struggled to do anything with her early doors,” he said.

Bedggood paid $22,500 for Sir Kalahad as a tried horse after being the successful online bidder.

Sir Kalahad (All Too Hard x Kalamata) was bred in Victoria by Echo Beach Bloodstock.

“When I purchased him I sold close to 50 per cent pretty quickly and got left with 55 per cent. Along the way I had a group of blokes who were in another horse with me and I ended up giving them 10 per cent of him,” he said.

“I’ve still got around 45 percent of him and he’s won a couple in town for us and has been a good little money spinner.”

Bedggood said he would have happily sold all but 10 or 20 per cent of Sir Kalahad but he is happy to still have a big piece of the ownership, especially after Saturday’s win.

“It was a big drop in weight on Saturday and I think heavy ground and no weight is his go,” he said.

“I knew a few people who had multiples going into him and that’s where a lot of the support came from. People jerried onto the track bias and knew where he’d be in the run.

“Both times he’s won in town he has carried 52kg and 51 and a half and he has had heavy ground and I think that’s the key to him.”

Bedggood said No Effort would be set for an open 2000m handicap at Caulfield in two weeks and if she wins, consideration will be given for a little let-up before chasing some black type in the Heatherlie Stakes (1700m), also at Caulfield.

“Because of rating, she is out of benchmark racing and would have to go to a race like that,” he said.

“And with Sir Kalahad, the weather will be the defining factor for him and we won’t run him on anything worse than a soft seven, I guess.

“He is a lovely sound horse but he goes from being a benchmark 70 horse to nearly an open handicapper when he gets heavy ground. There is a 1200 and a 1400m, both 84s, at Caulfield also in a fortnight and he’ll only go if it’s wet.”

Bedggood says the stable numbers are slowly growing and he has 14 in work but doesn’t really want any more than 20.

Prominent owner John Fiteni, who owns last year’s Melbourne Cup favourite Surprise Baby, has sent Bedggood two horses that were trained at Horsham by Paul Preusker.

“We might be getting another couple and I don’t think he has got a trainer for Surprise Baby and it would be a pipedream to get him,” he said.

But for now, Gavin is happy to see how far he can go with six-year-old No Effort.

Monomeith’s Ross Hennessy explained that his late partner, Melissah Buys, organised the mating with a mare called Hold The Lion (Lion Cavern x Rich Cargo) which they raced together. The mare won five races for Cranbourne trainer Ray Cleaver.

“Melissah bred No Effort and did all the matings at the farm at Monomeith,” he said.

“We used to stand stallions and we did all that stuff, but we got out of stallions and had some broodmares and Melissah would muck around and breed things and they were always bred to race.

“We raced Hold The Line and she was a tough little racehorse and we bought her back home and sent her off to Reward For Effort and she obviously had the foal.

“She was in the paddock and was probably two rising three and she was an independent horse and didn’t like women or men and was hard to catch and was a moody thing.

“Then along came a mutual friend who had horses spelling on the farm and he bought Allan Cooper along and he took his float down the back of the paddock and put her in a yard and waited a couple of hours and coaxed the horse into the float. He took her away and broke her in.”

Hennessy recalls that he went to Moe thinking he was going to sack the horse and the standout racing colours, when No Effort finally broke through in a maiden, defeating the highly fancied Shephard, owned by Peter Moody.

Melissah passed away in September of 2018 and never saw the horse she bred or the colours she desperately wanted flash past the finishing post in first position.

And Hennessy said he could not explain why it took the mare so long to break her maiden status, then win five in a row.

He admitted that he jokingly apologised to Dwayne Dunn about the colours when the jockey had his first ride on the mare at Caulfield, which No Effort won, in the lead up to the Pinker Pinker.

With prizemoney just short of $500,000, No Effort has now won eight races. Three of those have been with Bedggood and include two in town and last year’s Traralgon Cup.

To support Hennessy’s belief that No Effort is a bit of a “wierdo” he said he received a phone call from Bedggood who told him he had to buy another horse – a Fighting Sun filly called Rose Dior.

“He told me the owners in the horse wanted a sprinter but she was a stayer and they were putting her on line to sell,” Hennessy said.

“I told Gavin I didn’t need any more horses, but he said you have to buy this one because it’s No Effort’s mate and she won’t eat or drink unless she’s got Rose Dior with her.

“I said ‘Oh God’ but we bought a share of her and then the horse mated up with Sir Kalahad and now the three of them come to the farm when Gavin is spelling them, and I put them into the paddock together.”

And as Bedggood explained in his postrace interview, the horses sleep together, work together and travel together.

They are also wining together.

Carleen Hefel aboard Sir Kalahad after winning the Ladbroke It! Handicap at Ladbrokes Park Hillside, 12.06.21. (George Salpigtidis/Racing Photos)

The industry has seen incredible results across the 2021 sales season.

An extraordinary 2021 thoroughbred sales season has seen record after record fall, with buyers investing with unprecedented confidence in the Australian market, spending over $774 million at public auction. We have broken down the big numbers to chart the explosion in spending.

When buyers and vendors arrived in Queensland at the start of 2021 for the season-opening Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, they did so very much in a cautious mood after the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The impacts of COVID-19 could have been disastrous for the thoroughbred industry and a 15.6 per cent fall in aggregate spending at public auction in 2020 was certainly cause for concern. But as it tends to do, the market had adjusted to the new conditions and that drop in turnover reflected a 14.5 per cent drop in the volume of horses offered.

In that regard, the overall average across all yearling, weanling and broodmare sales only dropped 1.24 per cent in 2020, retaining the confidence in the value of the product and laying the foundations for a recovery in 2021.

Despite strong signs of an economic recovery, and of a broader racing and wagering industry in rude health, there was still doubts about how much confidence investors would take to the market.

Those doubts were dispelled in the space of a few days of furious bidding in early January. The aggregate of the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale soared to $213 million, some 13 per cent up on the record set in 2020 and put down a marker for the rest of the year.

At every stop since new records have been created, with markets across Australia, regardless of which sales company was operating them, showing amazing growth.

To this point, there has been $552 million spent on yearlings at public auction in Australia in 2021, a jump of 29 per cent on 2020 levels and well above anything achieved prior to that.

In a definitive show of faith in the public auction process, there have been 4566 yearlings sold through the ring this year, the highest mark in at least a decade.

Quantity has not come at the expense of quality according to the market, with those yearlings sold at an average price of $120,874, an increase of 11.9 per cent on 2020 and a new high-water mark. The average price of a yearling through public auction in Australia has doubled since 2012.

While several of the smaller sales achieved remarkable year-on-year growth, it was the major yearling sales where the significant volume of investment came from.

Compared to 2019, which was the last pre-COVID sales season, there has been an additional $91 million invested in the yearling market in 2021. Around $32 million that additional investment was generated from the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, while an additional $20.5 million came from the Inglis Premier Yearling Sale, $11.3 million from the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale, and $9.2 million from the Inglis Classic Yearling Sale.

The top end was particularly strong with 36 $1 million-plus yearlings selling across all sales, highlighted by the $2.5 million Hawkes Racing paid for a Snitzel colt from Arrowfield Stud at the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale, which had 23 lots in the seven-figure price range.

Yearling sales are by far the biggest driver of investment in the Australian market, with 71.23 per cent of money spent in 2021 in that category, however the growth of the breeding sales market has arguably been a much bigger story this year.

The overall aggregate spend through broodmare auctions in 2021 reached $182 million in 2021, double the amount of 2020 and 22 per cent up on what was spent in 2019. That number wasn’t powered by a significant jump in supply, with overall mares/fillies sold through the broodmare sales up modestly from 727 to 854 year-on-year.

The premium broodmare sales were where much of that growth was derived from, with the Inglis Chairman’s Sale grossing $28.2 million at an average of $532,735, while a simply astonishing Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale grossed $143 million and an average of $229,443.

The opening day of the Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale was nothing short of extraordinary with 18 million-dollar lots passing through the ring, including 11 in the 37-lot Shadwell Dispersal. Experienced industry figures were left shaking their heads in disbelief as the average reached $328,038 in that session.

The Inglis Chairman’s Sale was held in a similarly electric atmosphere with seven million-dollar lots on a memorable night at the Riverside Stables.

A measure of where the broodmare market is at is that average price for a broodmare at public auction in Australia in 2021 is $213,527, up from $126,102 last year.

This surge was powered by a couple of key factors, one of which as the investment of those who were buying not just for commercial breeding purposes. Several major spenders indicated that they were securing top-end broodmares as a means to sourcing quality progeny from them to race in light of the expense of the yearling market.

A similar story was told in the weanling market, which also exploded with a jump in overall investment from $15.9 million last year to $40.6 million in 2021. The average price jumped from $37,125 to $78,485, with the Magic Millions National Weanling Sale driving much of that growth.

It grossed $31.8 million – a three-fold increase on last year’s COVID-impacted market – across 311 sales, an overall average of $102,270. As a measure of comparison, the 2019 National Weanling Sale averaged $59,559, while in a decade ago, it averaged just $20,960.

The Sale featured just the second $1 million weanling ever sold in Australia, and the buyer of that I Am Invincible colt provided a great example of the changing nature of the weanling market.

Prominent trainer Ciaron Maher was the one signing off on the colt from Gilgai Farm, as ‘end users’, those who buy for racing and or breeding rather than for pinhooking, came to the fore. The difficulty of sourcing from the yearling market has driven many trainers to the foal market, sparking an explosion of competition in an area where demand was far in excess of supply.

Across all categories, yearling, broodmares and weanlings, there have been 5937 horses sold through the physical Australian sales ring in 2021, with only the delayed Inglis Great Southern Sale to come (for the purposes of this article, all historical stats have not included that Sale).

Statistically, that is well up on 2020, where there were just 5101 horses sold, but down on what was offered in 2019 (6035) and 2018 (6101).

Part of this could be attributed to the growth in digital auctions, which have now become a setting for the quick dispersal of yearlings, mares and weanlings.

The overall spend of $774,840,350 at public auction in 2021 is quite mind-boggling when you consider it is a 45.1 per cent jump on last year and a 22.4 per cent jump on the previous record of $633 million in 2019. The total spent on thoroughbreds in the public auction environment in Australia has doubled from $380 million in 2014, a seven-year gap.

There is statistical evidence to suggest that the surge in investment in 2021 has been partially driven by the money not spent in what was a COVID-disrupted and very uncertain 2020 market.

One way of looking at this is to examine the total investment over a rolling two-year period, allowing a better way to chart trend and account for year-on-year dips and surges.

Combined across 2020 and 2021 yearling, broodmare and weanling sales, there was $1.31 billion spent, while the previous two-year aggregate (2019 and 2020) was $1.17 billion, while in 2018 and 2019, the total was $1.26 billion, and across in 2017 and 2018, $1.084 billion.

This paints a much more gradual picture of growth across the past four years, and not the sudden spike in 2021, which was exacerbated by the COVID-impacted downturn of 2020.

What that would indicate is that while the overall pattern of growth in the market is still very positive, it may be very difficult for the market to sustain the record levels it has set moving forward.

It is also likely that there will be a greater supply from vendors in 2022, particularly in the weanling and broodmare aspects of the market, which saw demand extremely strong, powering the amazing growth outlined above.

However, you would underestimate the bullishness of the bloodstock market at your own peril, with levels of confidence in the broader racing industry higher than they have ever been on the back of record wagering and record prizemoney.

The current market has already led to a particularly bullish approach to service fees for stallions this season, something which indicates the belief that prices will only continue to rise going forward.


The above data is sourced from Arion. It includes all lots sold across all books of the following sales. It has been collated for research purposes only.

Magic Millions: National Broodmare Sale, National Weanling Sale, Gold Coast March Yearling, Adelaide Yearling Sale, Tasmanian Yearling Sale, Perth Yearling Sale, Gold Coast National Yearling Sale

Inglis: Melbourne Gold Sale, HTBA May (Scone) Sale, Australian Broodmare Sale, Chairman’s Sale, Australian Weanling Sale, Easter Yearling Sale, Premier Yearling Sale, Classic Yearling Sale.

Does not include Inglis Great Southern Sale and does not include Inglis Digital or Magic Millions Online Sales. Does not include New Zealand Bloodstock Sales.

Story courtesy of TDN AusNZ.

Ben Cooper of Merricks Station.

It’s been a big week for the burgeoning broodmare band of Victorian-based Merricks Station, with the addition of five more members through last week’s Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale followed by a Group 1 boost to the progeny record of resident mare One Funny Honey (USA) (Distorted Humor {USA}).

Vega One’s (Lope De Vega {Ire}) victory in last Saturday’s G1 Kingsford-Smith Cup at Eagle Farm was not only celebrated by trainer Tony Gollan and the 5-year-old’s connections, which include his breeder Emirates Park, but also by Ben Cooper and the team at Merricks, who purchased his dam privately a couple of years ago.

It has been only three years since Cooper opened the gates at Merricks Station, located on the Mornington Peninsula with a view of establishing a commercial breeding operation, and the acquisition of quality broodmares was part of the strategy to get things moving quickly.

One Funny Honey, who at that point had produced two stakes winners in G2 Sweet Embrace S. winner One More Honey (Onemorenomore) and Listed winner Vega One, looked an ideal target and Cooper did a deal privately to move her from Emirates Park to Victoria.

“She was in foal to Fastnet Rock at the time and unfortunately, we lost the foal. But she went back in foal to Fastnet and we have a really nice colt on the ground now,” Cooper told TDN AusNZ.

“We are just working out which sale he will go to (in 2022). Most likely he goes to Premier, and he should stand out there, being a half-brother to a Group 1 winner.”

One Funny Honey’s racing career in the United States was short-lived, but she had a strong Australian connection, being out of Group 3 winner and G1 VRC Oaks runner up Lan Kwai Fong (Bluebird {USA}).

The connection was undoubtedly in mind when she was purchased by Patinack Farm for US$40,000 (AU$51,500) through the 2010 Keeneland November Breeding Sale and brought to Australia. Four years later, she headed to Emirates Park as part of the Magic Millions Patinack Dispersal, this time for $50,000, in foal with One More Honey.

The following year she produced a Lope De Vega (Ire) colt who last Saturday became a Group 1 winner and who is now $6 favourite to win another in this month’s Stradbroke H.

“It’s always a balancing act when it comes to buying mares,” Cooper said.

“There are two things we are looking for. We are looking for younger mares to keep things going, but we also identified her as one to buy as we liked how Vega One was tracking.

“We thought he was going to get that Group 1 last year, but he had a few issues, but he has done what we hoped he would this year and we hope he can get the Stradbroke as well.”

One Funny Honey is not currently in foal but is set to head to a Darley Champion nice and early in the 2021 breeding season.

“Unfortunately, she only had one shot at Capitalist last year because she was late and she missed to him, but she probably goes to Exceed And Excel this year,” Cooper said.

“She’s a ripper. She’s a really good mare and it’s great to have her on the farm. She’s thrown a nice Fastnet, but she has been a little unlucky with her breeding the last few years. She’s nice and healthy though and will continue into the future.”

The commercial value of that family is evidenced by the fact that her final foal for Emirates Park, a colt by Snitzel now named Tidal Creek, secured $800,000 at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale last year. He is in work for Chris Waller for an ownership group which includes the Fung Family, Brae Sokolski’s Yes Bloodstock and Ozzie Kheir.

Last week at the Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale, Merricks Station’s band was boosted by the addition of five new members, with Cooper working with Group 1 Bloodstock’s (FBAA) Mat Becker to spend $650,000.

At the top of the list was Waikato River (NZ) (Savabeel), the half-sister to stakes-winning trio Oceanex (NZ) (Ocean Park {NZ}), Amexed (NZ) (Pentire {GB}) and Miss Aotearoa (NZ) (Per Incanto {USA}), for $250,000, in foal to Written Tycoon. She has already produced a stakes performer in Spectacle (Teofilo {Ire}).

“There were a couple we went a bit further with. Waikato River was one of those. She’s an 8-year old mare who is very well related and has a nice active black-type family at the top end. That’s the mix we are looking for, something like her where the family can be quite active,” Cooper said.

Merricks Station also paid $180,000 for Murtle Turtle (Murtajill), a stakes performer who has produced two winners, including last week’s impressive 5.5l Ballarat winner Murtle (Capitalist). She was sold in foal to Shalaa (Ire).

Her Extreme Choice colt was sold for $220,000 by Kenmore Lodge to Bevan Smith Bloodstock / Ferguson Bloodstock at the recent National Weaning Sale.

“We were chatting with Newgate and she is going to go back to Extreme Choice, which will be nice,” Cooper said. “They really liked the weanling that sold and were pretty pro-active, so I’m more than happy to get into Extreme Choice.”

Multiple Listed winner Chinchilla (Exceed And Excel), the dam of Group 3 placegetter Lanigera (Denman), was purchased through Glastonbury Farms for $60,000 in foal to Santos and will be sent to Pierro.

Merricks Station also purchased Woodstock Hussey (Hussonet {USA}), the dam of Listed winner Kobayashi for $140,000 in foal to Nicconi, and Tiger Cat (GB) (Tiger Hill {Ire}), who has produced stakes-performed Meikas (Show A Heart), in foal to Invader for $25,000.

Considerations for matings across the entire Merricks Station broodmare band is now being made, with a mix of proven and emerging stallions, with a special mention for first-season Darley stallion Bivouac.

Cooper said the assistance of Becker in the selection process, in what was a tough market for buyers on the Gold Coast, was invaluable.

“He’s a great guy, Mat. He’s very active working with me. It’s a good balancing act. He gets up there a little bit earlier and I’ll come in and we’ll have a bit of a meeting of the minds and target what we are going for,” he said.

“It’s a war of attrition. You should have seen how long our list was. You have to be there to do your research on a lot of them to get a couple of them. It was a super-hot market, but we were happy with the price-point we bought into.”

Story courtesy of TDN AusNZ.

Robert Kingston (Robert Kingston Racing)

Mornington trainer Robert Kingston was at Wangaratta early on Thursday, preparing 2-year-old filly Class Action (Animal Kingdom {USA}) for her second race. For the trainer, however, it was his very last. Kingston announced late on Wednesday that he was opting out of the training game, effective almost overnight.

“I’ve trained for 10 years here in Victoria, and although I’m finishing up training, there are plenty of other parts of the industry to look through,” he said. “I’ve got a young family, and I’m looking forward to spending more time at home. Everyone knows training horses is seven days a week, long hours, and my family has probably played second fiddle to it for a long time.”

Kingston is married to wife Simone, and the couple has three children aged 15, 12 and eight.

“It’s a lovely time in their lives, and I just turned 45 so I’m young enough to get my teeth into something else,” the trainer said. “I’ve enjoyed training, but I’m looking forward to the change too.”

Kingston has applied for a jockey management license to look after apprentice rider Celene Gaudray, who is stationed with trainer Pat Carey at Mornington.

“She looks to be a great talent, so I’m looking forward to that,” he said. “Besides that, we’ll take a little break and see what comes my way for the next little while.”

Kingston comes from Ireland, from a little town that sits squarely on the border of counties Louth and Meath. His early career involved tenures at Coolmore, Juddmonte, Mill Ridge Farm in Kentucky and The National Stud in Newmarket.

In 2008 he emigrated to Australia, and joined Robbie Griffiths for two years as stable foreman. From there he spent time with Mornington trainer Jason Warren, until he obtained his own training license in March 2011.

Kingston had 16 boxes at Mornington, and enjoyed every moment of training on the popular Peninsula.

“I’ve said to many people that if Mornington ever closed down, I’d never train anywhere else,” he said. “I love the lifestyle there. It’s a beautiful part of the world, and the kids have a wonderful life outdoors. There’s a great bunch of trainers, older and younger, and very successful trainers. I’ve had a great time there.”

Kingston lives in Bittern, a short distance from Mornington, and he said the family has little ambition to leave.

“We love it down there, and my wife’s family is from the area, so we’re well entrenched,” he said. “And it doesn’t look like we’ll be taking a long holiday to Ireland any time soon.”

Robert Kingston’s first winner as a trainer was in November 2011, when chestnut filly On Tour (Stratum) won the last race on the card at Moe one Tuesday afternoon.

Since then, the trainer has had 73 winners and won close to $1.8 million in overall prizemoney, with good horses Madam Gangster (Al Maher), Sophia’s Choice (Fastnet Rock), Weather The Storm (Mutawaajid) and Esposito Gold (Excelebration {Ire}) filling his yard along the way.

Kingston purchased Esposito Gold for $50,000 at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale in 2016. She won over three times that figure until her retirement last year.

Similarly, Sophia’s Choice was also bought as a yearling by Kingston, but a little more expensive at $240,000. She was purchased at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale in 2018, in partnership with Holloway Equine Australia.

Last week’s win at Cranbourne by 4-year-old gelding Art Major (Artie Schiller {USA}) proved Robert Kingston’s final win, with Class Action following home a strong field at Wangaratta on Thursday for the trainer’s swan song.

“It was a typically strong 2-year-old fillies’ maiden, won by a blueblood of Shadwell’s,” Kingston said. “So although she was at the back of the field, I don’t think she ran too badly at all.”

Kingston made his decision to retire from training last Friday night after Art Major’s win, and added he had no regrets.

“We never hit the headlines, but we had plenty of winners and a lot of fun along the way,” he said.

Story courtesy of TDN AusNZ. 

Connections of Amadeus after winning the Chester Manifold Stakes, 11.01.2020. (Reg Ryan/Racing Photos)

Amadeus, the much-loved horse of racing identity Joan Walker, has started his new life on a Queensland farm where he will lead the leisurely life of a station stallion.

The eight-year-old was retired earlier this year after he returned from a spell but failed to capture the form which saw him win the Listed Chester Manifold Stakes (1400m) at Flemington in January last year.

He ran his last race just one year and one day after achieving the biggest of five race wins from a career of 40 race starts for Cranbourne trainer Mick Kent.

Amadeus is out of Jaywalk, which is part of the family that Joan’s family has been breeding from since 1930. It’s the same female line as Reckless that famously won the Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide Cups in 1977, with Pat Trotter in the saddle, and then finished second in the Melbourne Cup that year, beaten a length.

Joan, who bred the famed Reckless trained by Phar Lap’s strapper and later trainer Tommy Woodcock, admits it was sad to retire Amadeus, but said the time had come.

“He is now residing in sunny Queensland and he is the horse they are going to breed from the mares on the farm,” she said.

“He is going to be the stallion on the farm for the farm horses.

“It’s a friend of Mick Kent. And what they have done is send me a nice film of Amadeus at his new home.

“And that’s his new life.”

Joan Walker (background left) with Tommy Woodcock and Pat Trotter before Reckless’ 1977 Melbourne Cup. (Steve Hart)

Joan said Amadeus deserved a nice home and life after giving her such much pleasure during his racing career.

She said Kent didn’t want to go on training the horse and although he was eight, he was sound and the trainer wanted to retire him that way.

And she said it would be fantastic if Amadeus could even cover some thoroughbred mares.

“It’s a pity to lose that pedigree and his wonderful attitude is what is so rare,’’ she said.

“Unfortunately he spent his three-year-old life in a paddock, recovering after being badly injured and the breeding industry is so paranoid about the CV and they can’t see past it in any circumstances.

“But what he has done as an older horse when he got over his injuries, not too many of them do.

“Without Mick and his vet, there would no horse at all.”

Joan said it was extremely sad to retire Amadeus who spent the first months of his retirement at Barbara Saunders’ Denison Park on the Mornington Peninsula.

“And he got very lonely because he didn’t like being in a paddock on his own,” she said.

“I went to visit him and he was so pleased to see us and took all the pats and then I walked to the gate to leave and what I didn’t know was that he was right on my hammer at the gate.

“I got to the gate and he sort of said ‘hang on, what about me and I’m not staying here.”

Although Joan had pondered selling Amadeus’ dam Jaywalk (Dangerous x Imprevu), she isn’t sure whether the mare, which wasn’t served last season, will go to stud this season.

But Jaywalk’s last foal to race, the now four-year-old Reward (Reward For Effort), will be sent to Rosemont’s new stallion, Hanseatic in a breeding partnership between Joan and expert form analyst and commentator Deane Lester, who also races and breeds horses.

Reward raced eight times for a win and a third and was retired at the start of the year.

“Deane is a very good friend of mine,” she said.

“I probably could have sold Reward and got her completely off the books and it would have been one I wouldn’t have to worry about.

“Deane called me about Reward and said he had a nomination to Hanseatic.”

Hanseatic won the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m), the Listed Blue Diamond Preview (1000m) and the Merson Cooper Stakes (1000m).

Lester said he has known Joan for a long, long time and before Mick Kent went to Singapore he clocked her horses 27 or 28 years ago at Cranbourne when she used come into the clocker’s box to have a coffee and talk horses.

Joan admits she finds it difficult, if not impossible, to significantly reduce her horse numbers.

“I was going to sell Reward because I just can’t afford all of these horses, but I have a beautiful colt by National Defense out of Jaywalk,” she said.

“I would like to keep him if I can but with finances and COVID and everything else, what I’ll do is enter him in the sales and see what the situation is closer to the sales.”

Asked how many horses she has now, Joan laughed: “I try not to count.

“I still have Jaywalk who is the mother of all these gorgeous things and the weanling colt by National Defense,” she said.

“As well as Reward (Jaywalk x Reward For Effort), I have got a two-year-old filly Ask (Jaywalk x Reward for Effort) but she is unraced and has got a mind completely of her own. She loves sleeping which is her favourite occupation.

“Mick Kent has had her in his stables and she already some education and is out spelling and she’ll come in during the spring, I suppose. It’s another one I can’t afford, but it’s keeping me sane.”

Joan predicted her filly Ask would make its presence felt in one way or another.

“Ask is completely different to all the others and I have said to Mick I have got plans for her but I’m not telling him what they are,” she said.

Cyclone Tim and Campbell Rawiller win at Hamilton, 1 June 2021 for Michael Trotter. (Alice Miles/Racing Photos).

A group of horses predominately with the first name of Cyclone have been consistent performers for the well-known Trotter family, headed by former top jockey and trainer, Pat.

The Caulfield Cup winning jockey, who was famously associated with the legendary Tommy Woodcock and his equally famous horse Reckless, had a stint at training after he retired from the saddle.

One of the horses he trained, a mare named Darsawye, has been a consistent source or winners for both himself and his son Michael, who trains at Cranbourne.

Now retired from training and on an around-Australia trip, Pat and his wife Robyn decided to breed from Darsawye (Eagled Eye x Mars) after she finished her racing career with a win, three seconds and four thirds from 35 races.

The second last of her foals, Cyclone Tim, continues to carry the flag for his dam after registering his second win in less than a month when he again won over 1400m on a heavy Hamilton track last week.

Michael Trotter said Cyclone Tim is the last of the now retired Darsawye’s seven foals to race.

“Dad bought Darsawye as a yearling and trained her and when she finished racing, mum and dad decided to breed with her,” he said.

“I had my own mare which I bred from, but that’s (Darsawye) the only mare they’ve bred from.”

Michael’s crack at breeding was with a mare called Future Plans (Snaadee x Pacific Plum) and she produced five named foals, with the best of them being a colt – Kaitoa (Enconsul).

“He was a cracking black colt and actually ran in the Stutt Stakes when he was still a maiden and finished sixth behind Chase The Rainbow, but he didn’t have any luck in that race,” he said.

“I was the first Cranbourne trainer to win at the very first night meeting at Cranbourne and he was the one that won it.

“Future Plans threw another one called Montanita (Damascus Storm) that won a few and then she had a filly (by Wayed Zain) but unfortunately she had a paddock accident and had to put down. That was the end for me of breeding.”

But Michael has benefited greatly from Darsawye who has had more success in the breeding barn than she did on the track.

The mare’s second foal, Cyclone Andy (Yasey), raced 36 times for Pat Trotter, winning six races, including victory up the Flemington straight at the gelding’s fifth start. He also won at Sandown.

Cyclone Sarah (Damascus Storm), the first of Darsawye’s foals, won four times for Pat and had 13 minor places from 43 starts.

The mare’s third foal, Cyclone Jess (Old Dueteronomy) was also a good money spinner for Pat who trained her to six wins, eight seconds and 10 thirds from 78 starts.

Cyclone Jess, which was later sold by the Trotter family, was headed to the show ring before the COVID-19 pandemic halted her new career, but she is now going to be broodmare.

Cyclone Mia (Sharkbite) finished her career with two thirds, while the next foal, Brave Maddie (Host), was trained by Pat in 15 races for two thirds. The break in the Cyclone name to Brave Maddie was to honour one of the horse’s part-owners Bill Green and his wife Brenda who lost their 14-year-old granddaughter Maddison to a rare cancer.

And it’s been Michael Trotter who has benefited from another mating of Darsawye with Host, which has produced the now six-year-old Cyclone Tim, a winner of four races – three of them at Hamilton.

Cyclone Tim won his first race at Hamilton last September but won on heavy eight tracks there on May 13 and June 1 this year.

The last foal out of the now retired Darsawye is the mare Beaux Yeux (Moshe). She was placed once in her five-start career for Michael but was sent to the breeding barn and has been served by Riverbank Farm stallion Von Costa De Hero.

Michael said Darsawye had been a good producing mare for the stallions she’d had and her progeny were late to mature.

“The Host filly Brave Maddie showed a lot of promise but she got really unwell and never came back after that,” he said.

“Based on type and ability, Beaux Yeux, her last foal, was probably the best of them and she was meant to have her first start at a night meeting at Cranbourne and was absolutely flying and I got to the stables on the Friday morning and she’d had an incident with the fence and ploughed her head straight into the gate and bent it.

“After that she never came good but she is in foal to Von Costa De Hero.

“The family no longer has Beaux Yeux but I will get her foal to train. “After we lost the Wayed Zain filly (out of Future Plans), Russell Osborne at Riverbank Farm offered me a free service to one of his stallions so that’s how we got Von Costa De Hero.

“They are just super people to deal with.”

Trotter said that with Cyclone Tim having won three of his races at Hamilton on heavy tracks, it’s obvious that he likes the track and the long float trip.

“If you take him to a race around the corner, he’ll kick the float and paw and carry on like an idiot,” he said.

“But if you go on a long trip, he never turns a hair and is quite funny in that respect. He likes being on his own and if you put him in with other horses on the float, he hates it.

“He is pretty funny like that. But to be honest, the long straight at Hamilton really helps him and just gives him the time to find his feet and balance up and do his thing.

“There is no question that if you put him on a heavy track that he is able to find another leg.”

The Hamilton track has been downgraded the past two times Cyclone Tim has won, but he believes the gelding can win on a soft track.

He joked that he was “filthy” when the track was downgraded last week because he wanted to prove some doubters wrong.

“But I do believe that the long straight and open spaces just takes the pressure him a bit,” Trotter said.

“He is not a world beater but he tries his heart out.”

And what surprised Trotter was the odds offered by the bookies last week.

At his previous race at Hamilton, Cyclone Tim was smashed in the betting and his double-figure odds decreased as the track deteriorated and he started the $4.40 favourite. He was backing up just four days after being unplaced over 1400m at Ballarat.

But last week the gelding started at $13 but won like a $1.50 favourite.

It had Trotter scratching his head, but he wasn’t complaining.

In between his Hamilton wins, Cyclone Tim was unplaced at Cranbourne over 1500m on a soft track.

“The way he won the other day, there is another win or two in him,” Trotter said.

And who can blame Trotter for going through the racing calendar in the hope of finding another Hamilton race – and hopefully on a heavy track.

By Peter Huntington, B.V.Sc., M.A.C.V.Sc.

Kentucky Equine Research, Director of Nutrition, Australia

It’s breeding season and after months of waiting, your foal has finally arrived. How can you ensure that your young horse gets the best start to life and grows up healthy, strong and sound? OCD (osteochondritis dissecans) is one of a number of diseases categorised under the name ‘developmental orthopaedic disease’ (DOD) and is a significant cause of wastage and loss of revenue for breeders all over the world. OCD can be simply defined as an interruption in bone development. During normal bone growth, cartilage is remodelled into bone. It is during this remodelling that the process sometimes goes awry and leads to OCD lesions. OCD is considered to be a multi-factorial disorder with the predisposing causes being complex and numerous however one of the list of potential causes is nutrition.

Nutrition is thought to play an important role in the pathogenesis of some cases of OCD. Deficiencies, excesses, and imbalances of nutrients may result in an increase in the incidence and severity of the syndrome. If you feed high grain intakes to achieve maximal growth you will increase the risk of DOD problems being found in yearlings. Some hard feeds are safer to use than others, as research has shown that feeds that have a lower glycaemic Index (the glucose response after feeding) are associated with a lower incidence of OCD. Barastoc brings you the ideal low glycaemic breeding feed – Barastoc Breed N Grow.

Barastoc Breed N Grow contains all the necessary ingredients and nutrients to produce sound healthy horses. Barastoc Breed N Grow is a low to moderate starch feed which has a lower glycaemic index (GI) response to feeding. The higher fibre content in Barastoc Breed N Grow encourages digestive safety, especially when horses are fed in groups and may consume their feeds at a faster rate. This also means a reduced risk of colic and laminitis. An additional benefit of the low GI feeds may be better behaviour in young horses which can reduce wear and tear related injuries. The higher fibre content means Barastoc Breed N Grow is safe to feed without chaff, potentially helping to decrease feeding costs, and its pelleted design makes it ideal for economical paddock feeding.

Barastoc Breed N Grow contains higher protein and amino acids levels which are essential for obtaining optimum growth in young horses and healthy pregnancies in broodmares. The ratio of minerals may be just as critical as the actual amounts of individual minerals in the ration. Too much calcium, for instance, may stand in the way of proper absorption of phosphorus, copper, zinc, and iodine. The calcium: phosphorous ratio in Barastoc Breed N Grow is close to the ideal 2:1. It also contains silicon and vitamin K and research that these nutrients can improve bone development and density. Barastoc Breed N Grow is the ultimate breeding pellet that suits breeding stallions, growing horses and broodmares at any stage of gestation.

Find out more:  www.barastochorse.com.au


Rangal Park Stud are holding a Clearing Sale.

Date: Saturday 19th June 2021

Time: 10am

Location: Euroa Farming Plant and Machinery, 88 Lomers Road, Euroa VIC 3666.

Rangal Park Clearing Sale items and details.

Rebel Dane stands at Glen Eden Stud.

Rebel by name, Rebel by nature. This could be a good way of describing one of the most underrated gallopers in recent times.

On Friday, October 21, 2016, Rebel Dane ventured to Moonee Valley to take his chance in the G1 Manikato Stakes. This wasn’t a first rodeo for ‘Tex’, he’d been in this arena may times previously. In fact, coming into one of the most prestigious Group 1s on the Australian racing calendar, Rebel Dane had already won the G1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes and earned close to $2,000,000 for his adoring connections.

But like so many times throughout his career, he was regarded as just ‘making up the numbers’ against a crack field of sprinters which included the likes Chautauqua, Buffering, Holler, English and Fell Swoop.

When Rebel Dane hit the line in front it encapsulated everything this top-class racehorse had been for all 35 starts before. Classy, tough, athletic, sound and the consummate professional.

Aren’t these the qualities breeders of all markets look for in a stallion prospect?

In his racing career, Rebel Dane mixed it with the very best from the start. In a vintage 3yo year he finished alongside the likes of Pierro (beaten a whisker into 2nd in the G2 Hobartville Stakes), It’s A Dundeel (a brave fourth to him in the G1 Randwick Guineas) and Spirit Of Boom (beaten under a length in the G1 Doomben 10,000), all of whom have been afforded qualities books of mares at their respective studs.

But this hasn’t been the case for Rebel Dane so far, and like so many times on the racetrack, he is going to have to do it the hard way.

Rebel Dane thrived on being the underdog, and early indications are that this trait is carrying through to the breeding barn and his progeny.

You just have to look at the first crop sires table to realise the strength of the young stallions coming through in Australia, and certainly not all of them can claim to be the sire of a stakes winning 2yo. Rebel Dane can.

From only four progeny to race, Matthew Dunn’s exciting prospect Subterranean is the winner of the G3 Ken Russell Memorial at the Gold Coast. That’s on top of being a Doomben 2yo winner in December before finishing a gutsy third in the G3 BJ McLachlan Stakes at his next start. He holds a nomination for the G1 JJ Atkins Stakes, that’s the regard the stable hold him.

Then the Rebecca Waymouth trained Lloyd’s Crown, a nice 2nd at Pakenham on debut at big odds, showed that he had gone the right way with a tough Sandown-Hillside victory. Settling near the speed over the 1000m, Lloyd’s Crown got the better of his more fancied rivals to score an important city victory for his young sire.

And only an hour later in Sydney, Gary Portelli produced Rebel Shadow for his debut. This great looking colt had trialled in good fashion on a number of occasions (third to the Golden Slipper winner Stay Inside in one trial) and like his sire, was racing in the Laurel Oak colours. Having to go back from the wide draw, Rebel Shadow saved ground along the rail to hit the line strongly to claim second. After the race Gary said “He’s a really good colt, more size and substance than his sire at the same time. If he draws a gate today he wins”.

For the 2021 breeding season, Rebel Dane will stand at Glen Eden Stud, an emerging Victorian farm determined to give this horse the chance he deserves.

In so many ways the breeding game is a numbers game, and the team at Glen Eden are setting out to get not just numbers but quality to Rebel Dane this season.

Take a look around Victoria, and you won’t find many stallions that raced at the highest level for as long and consistently as Rebel Dane did. And importantly Rebel Dane retired a sound and healthy racehorse, testament to his constitution and the way he was expertly handled by Gary Portelli. It is early days, but it looks Rebel Dane is passing on everything that was good about him onto his progeny.

Contact Glen Eden Stud to find out more.

Glen Eden Stud’s Rebel Dane.