Above: Warhorse standing at Bombora Downs
After having his first winner just 12 months ago, Bombora Downs stallion Warhorse is beginning to produce a steady stream of winners.
Bombora Downs’ Christoph Bruechert doesn’t hide the fact that it’s been a tough year for his stallions and he is hoping that General Nediym’s best credentialed son can gain valuable recognition by producing a horse of note.
“He is actually doing very well,” Bruechert said.
“He had two winners from three runners on Sunday.”
Bruechert said he had been hearing for the get-go that Warhorse’s progeny have above average ability.
“But it’s been a very frustrating wait as they do take a fair bit of education and they do tend to be a little bit fizzy,” he said.
“They are now all of a sudden starting to really put it together so I think the next 12 months will be pretty exciting for us.
“They are four now and they have needed every bit of that so I think the earlier people start with their education the better.
“And it’s more of mental maturity than physical that they need but there are some quite promising horses out there.”
Bruechert admitted that it been a quiet year at stud for Warhorse, with most of the bookings this season from people who already had one by the stallion and they were impressed with the speed being shown and just need to put it together on race day.
He said Warhorse had never had a particularly big book of mares.
“It’s not an easy game this stallion business,” he said.
“If he gets one headline horse in the next few months, all of a sudden people will sit up and start taking notice of what the horses are doing.
“Unless you get that headline act, people are not just going to have a look at you.”
There have been reports by jockey Lewis German that the I Am War gelding, which has had two starts for a fourth in the Maribyrnong Stakes (1000m) up the Flemington straight in October, is a stakes horse and there are others that are highly rated.
But Bruechert said until they do it, it’s just talk.
He said some of the yearlings from his first year that went through Melbourne Premier sold quite well, with three finishing up overseas and all have won.
“His top price was $97,500 and we had one at $70,000 and a couple of 60s,” Bruechert said.
“They were pretty nice looking horses and quite athletic but it has obviously been steadily downhill since then but people are waiting to see what they do, I suppose.
“It would be just nice to get a horse that gets a decent book of mares each year.”
But Bruechert is encouraged by result results from Warhorse’s progeny.
Symbol of Courage won in Malaysia in an open class race over 1100m on Sunday. He led all the way to win by four lengths at the Selangor Turf Club. The three-year-old has now had two wins, two seconds and three thirds from his nine starts.
Symbol Of Courage was a $75,000 purchase at the 2018 Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.
Closer to home, War Cheval scored easily on Sunday, also leading all the way to win over 1100m at Border Town.
Trainer John Hickmott quipped after the race that the three-year-old gelding had finally got his head and legs co-ordinated.
And last month, Warhorse had three winners. Cheronkoh won over 1600m at Murtoa, Symbol Of Courage scored another four length win over 1100m in Singapore and Pride Mountain won over 1350m in Macau.
Pride Mountain sold for $18,000 at the 2019 Gold Coast two-year-olds in training sale.
Warhorse, a champion two year-old, won the Group 3 Eclipse Stakes at Ellerslie at his third start and then two runs later scored in the 2012 Group 1 Diamond Stakes. He was voted champion two year-old of the 2011/12 season by New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing.
He performed at Group level from two to five years-old and earned a reputation as an outstanding sprinter who is suited to Victoria’s Super VOBIS scheme.
Warhorse, which had his first season at stud in 2015 when he served his biggest book – 77 – of mares, has had 31 runners for 10 individual winners for 12 wins and 30 placings.
He has got 52 named horses of racing age.
Bombora Downs, based on the Mornington Peninsula, also stands Dandino, Jungle Ruler and De Gaulle.
The impact of COVID-19 has been significant for some studs, but Bruechert said Bombora Downs’ strength was that it does a little bit of everything.
“We still foaled down over 100 mares and we’ll prep probably 30 horses, or close to that, between both lots of sales,” he said.
“We wean for people locally down here as well, so we’ll wean 50 odd horses and 10 of them will come in just to be weaned. And we grow out horses and we have probably done 30 walks-on for the year as well.”
Bruechert said offering a variety of services certainly helps.