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

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