The Cain family breeding operation, Churchill Lodge, is on quite the roll recently with two horses it bred seemingly unable to lose!
And, according to the Portarlington based farm principal Tim Cain the last six runners they have bred at the farm have all been winners.
On Saturday, the Churchill Lodge bred juvenile Al Passem (Al Maher) maintained his perfect strike rate winning his second start at Caulfield in the 1100 metre Bill Collins Handicap.
After a sensational debut win at Wangaratta, trainer Ken Keys is upbeat about Al Passem’s future race plans.
“He really is a little beauty, and the fact that he’s so professional means he could contend at any level. There’s a stakes race in a couple of weeks that we haven’t put a line through yet.” Keys said.
Meanwhile, the Michael Roebuck trained Bel Burgess (Bel Esprit) has won his last four starts with a start in this coming Saturday’s lucrative $280,000 VOBIS Gold Mile at Caulfield a strong possibility.
Churchill Lodge is an 80 acre property near Portarlington on the Bellarine Peninsula with sweeping bay views.
The farm is managed by Tim, who previously trained himself. Brother Matthew is a member of the Melbourne Racing Club Committee while middle brother Damien is a equine vet currently based in England.
Together, with their parents, the brothers have bred many horses and enjoyed the thrill of being part-owners of past Group 1 winners Dash For Cash and Shinzig, top galloper Fontiton and family favourite, Snort.
They foal down a handful of mares each year, sell a few through the sales and grow out their own young stock to race.
Foaled down by Tim, Al Passem was the second foal and second winner out of the 3-time winner Ruby Bre by Rubiton. She is a half-sister to the stakes-placed Marie Madeleine, and is from the family of Group 3 winner Scarlet Crown and Group 1 Oakleigh Plate winner Scarlet Bisque.
“Ruby Bre is stunning jet black mare herself and moves like a panther, a look that is replicated in her foals,” Tim said.
“She now has a Turffontein yearling colt, and the motivation behind that mating was my brother,”
“Matt had the top two year old Fontiton, a Turffontein filly out of a Rubiton mare. I think the cross is outstanding, and, at the time, there were two group winners from five foals.
“He will be more of a three year old, heading off to the breakers shortly and, in light of Al Passem’s win, we may even send him to a breeze up sale, as there is commerciality around him at the moment.
“She (Ruby Bre) has a beautiful Fiorente filly foal, and as much as I loved the Al Passem, she is the best I’ve foaled down, she is just outstanding.
I will be putting Ruby Bre back in foal this year and based on the filly foal’s quality, we are considering a return visit to Fiorente.”
Al Passem was sold through the Swettenham Stud draft at the 2016 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale where he was purchased by Ken Keys for $55,000.
“We have had a strong relationship with Adam at Swettenham for a number of years through my family and Dash For Cash, so naturally we were happy to have them prep him on our behalf, they do a terrific job and most importantly he found a good home,” Tim said.
“I take it as quite a feather in my cap having bred a two year old winner, as that is what we are all striving for. We have tried in the past, but to have him up and running at two is just sensational, especially when you are working with low numbers of foals.”
“We are enjoying the ride while it is going on, as we know all too well the next one may be a little way away,” Tim said.
Based on the talent Al Passem and Bel Burgess have showed, it might be the Cains are in for a longer ride than they expected.