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Victorian stallions come to the fore

It was a truly ‘Super Saturday’ for the Victorian breeding industry, as several of the state’s prominent stallions stamped their class in some of the country’s biggest races.


Headlined by the feats of established stars Written Tycoon and Brazen Beau and aided and abetted by newcomer Grunt, who each sired a Group 1 winner, Saturday’s action across the country shone a very favourable light on Victorian stallions whose progeny continue to produce the goods on the racetrack.  

Veight (orange cap) and Lady Laguna (navy cap)

Veight’s typically tenacious win in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill marked a coming of age for Grunt, who stands alongside Written Tycoon as a resident stallion at Yulong Farm. Veight, whose dam Neena Rock won two Stakes races for John Sargent, took his prizemoney earnings past the $2 million mark after holding off the late challenge of Lady Laguna (sired by Widden Victoria’s Overshare).


Whilst that sum is impressive, the colt is now potentially worth ten times that figure as a stallion prospect given his pedigree and precocity, which has been evident from his very first start – a six-length win at Pakenham over Apulia, a subsequent Stakes winner for Lindsay Park.


Having finished a narrow second behind Southport Tycoon (Written Tycoon x Ready To Rule) in the Australian Guineas (1600m) – one of two Group 1 races won by Grunt in 2018 – Veight become the first 3YO for more than a decade to win the George Ryder for the training team of Tony and Calvin McEvoy.         


“Grunt was an excellent racehorse himself, and it’s great to see him hitting his straps as a stallion,” said McEvoy Snr.


“This fellow has a great profile now, he was a debut winner by six lengths and won a Stakes race as a two year old, so he’s a very valuable prospect. People are starting to take notice of Grunt’s progeny, and we’ll certainly be looking out for his stock at future sales – if we can afford them that is!”

Lady Of Camelot

Whilst Veight was Grunt’s first Group 1 winner, Written Tycoon now has no fewer than 15 to his name after Lady Of Camelot’s stirring victory in an action-packed Golden Slipper (1200m).


Gai Waterhouse trained Lady Of Camelot’s dam Miss Debutante to Stakes success in 2017 and, seven years later, she was celebrating an eighth Slipper win after Blake Shinn delivered a peach of a ride on the flying filly who finished second in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m).


Lady Of Camelot’s triumph franked the Victorian form with Coleman – the speedy son of Yulong’s Pierata who started favourite for this year’s Blue Diamond – chasing her home in the Slipper. Similarly, Traffic Warden (Street Boss x Efficiently) backed up his effortless win in the Group 2 VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Flemington with a fighting fourth in the Slipper.


Street Boss stands at Darley Victoria and the farm were celebrating shortly afterwards when Zapateo (Brazen Beau x Jerezana) took out the Group 1 Galaxy (1100m) for Godolphin.


Zapateo was named the 2022/23 Champion Victorian Bred Racehorse at the TBV Awards and, if anything, the mare has returned an even more polished and professional product this season.


Having finished third behind stablemate Kallos in the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield and second behind Passive Aggressive in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) last time, Zapateo was rewarded for her consistency with a first Group 1 under Kerrin McEvoy.


Meanwhile, over at The Valley Victorian stallions were again showcasing the strength of the state’s breeding industry as Gumdrops (Written Tycoon x Sugar Bella) delivered a sweet success for Yulong’s elder statesman with victory in the Group 3 Don Casboult Classic (formerly the Typhoon Tracy).  


To round out a landmark day, the progeny of Swettenham Stud’s flagbearer Toronado ran the quinella in the final race on the program as ExtraTwo (trained by Ciaron Maher) and Papillon Club (Greg Eurell) fought out the finish.   


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