Friday, April 30, 2010


Brian Donohoe makes an interesting observation in his Bel Esprit Winners Club blog, alluding to the number of top trainers who send their horses to race at Sale due to the ‘true and (long) straight’ nature of the track.
For the second at Sale yesterday (29 April) – the Newry Fencing Contractors 2YO Maiden Plate (1200m) – Messrs Hayes, Griffiths, O’Brien, Laing, Moloney, Smerdon, Freedman, Eurell and McArdle all had runners, but it was the unheralded runner of Moe mentor, Michael Templeton, who grabbed the bikkies.
Elite Ebony, who hails from the 2007 crop of Champion Victorian Sire, Bel Esprit, had trialed twice previously and was less than impressive on either occasion.
Accordingly, she was sent out a $41 shot at Sale but soon belied her odds by taking out the scamper with over a length to spare.
Out of the Crested Wave mare, Larnie (a sister to Cox Plate winner Surfers Paradise), Elite Ebony was bred by Anthony Mithen’s Rosemount Stud.
Bel Esprit’s other 2YO headliners this season include the stakes winner Strike The Tiger and stakes placed The Pupster, while Brian also observes that Black Caviar made her debut on 18 April 2009.
While not drawing comparisons, it’s clear that Elite Ebony has her share of ability.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Big day out for Clangalang progeny on Wednesday (28 April), notching up a metropolitan double with Cruziero (Morphettville) and Lakedro (Sandown).
In terms of ‘impression’ it’s difficult to split the two: each won by three lengths and, while the 3YO Cruziero was making his debut, the year older Lakedro was scoring his second victory in eight days (and fourth overall from 10 starts).
Cruziero, who races out of the David Jolly stable in Adelaide, could hardly have been more noticeable in his first public appearance.
Sold by Eliza Park at the 2007 Great Southern Weanling Sale, Cruziero was bred by Melinda Bright and is out of the River Rough mare, Time Is Hope (who, coincidentally, is in foal to Magnus and has a Shinzig weanling colt).
Cruziero is a half brother to former top Sydney sprinter and 6-time winner Our Jetsetter, while Time Is Hope is a half sister to multiple Group winner Umah (9 wins inc. WATC Karakatta Plate-G1).
Meanwhile, Lakedro is the latest in a very long line of winners that have sprung forth from Greg Eurell’s Cadet Lodge at Cranbourne.
And, from the looks of it, Lakedro’s winning tally could easily have been greater than four.
Only having his first start last August, Lakedro finished with thirds at Kilmore and Ballarat before peeling off successive victories at Geelong (by six lengths) and Kyneton.
Tipped out for a spell, Lakedro hasn’t had the greatest of luck since resuming in February, featuring in the stewards’ reports with his eighth at Sandown and fourth at Moonee Valley.
But nothing compared to the ‘chapter’ they devoted to the horse following his second at Moonee Valley on 8 March when beaten less than a half length.
Lakedro then appeared in the Albury Cup (finishing sixth to Growl) before finally breaking through for a well deserved victory at Seymour on Tuesday (20 April), scoring comfortably over the 1600m.
Bred by Dennis Rose, Lakedro is out of the Nassipour mare, Enchanting Style and is from the family of European Group winner and successful Aussie sire, Lord Seymour, Caerwent, Marling, Marwell etc.
Notably, this was the third Clangalang victory at Sandown in a week following Reverberates last Wednesday and Mistaken Grace on Saturday.

PS. Can someone enlighten as to the origins of Cruziero? Thought at first he might be named after Tom Cruise, who also makes a lot of noise but doesn’t have as much substance as our ‘ero, however, google would suggest the name comes from an old Brazilian bank note or the football club Cruzeiro Esporte Clube. Yes, I know they are spelt differently.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


With a roster which offers something for every broodmare owner, Eliza Park today announced its stallion fees for the 2010 breeding season.

  • WANTED [$38,500]
  • BEL ESPRIT [$27,500]
  • GOD’S OWN [$27,500]
  • MAGNUS [$22,000]
  • STATUE OF LIBERTY [$17,600]
  • BUSHRANGER [$11,000]
  • SHINZIG [$9,900]
  • WRITTEN TYCOON [$6,600]
  • CLANGALANG [$5,500]
  • DELAGO BROM [$5,500]
  • SHARKBITE [$5,500]

All service fees come with a live foal guarantee and no payment of service fee is required until 31 March 2011. God's Own, however, is a 45 day PPT with Free Return.

God's Own and Magnus stand at Eliza Park in conjunction with Yallambee Stud.

Please note that this season, Bel Esprit (150 mares plus Free Returns), Statue of Liberty (120 mares plus Free Returns) and Wanted (80 mares) will cover limited books.

For further information, phone David Somers on 0428 440 330; Mark Lindsay on 0416 334 338 or Phil Marshall on 0407 853 782.


Did anyone else see Broadway Harmony’s run at Sandown on Saturday? The Statue of Liberty filly had it won everywhere but at the post and is now nominated for the Dequetteville Stakes-LR at Morphettville on Sunday (2 May).
Don’t be surprised if she doesn’t come away with the main prize in Adelaide and thus join Statue Of Liberty’s growing list of stakes winners.
(Interestingly, it was just on two years ago that two other Statue of Liberty fillies in Dan Baroness and Elysees won stakes races in Melbourne and Adelaide respectively).
Anyhow, Broadway Harmony’s (hopefully fleeting) disappointment aside, it’s been a handy couple of days for Statue of Liberty progeny with State of Being scoring at Bendigo for Peter Moody on Monday (26 April), while Manhattan Lad won his second on the trot for trainer Wayne Nichols over the 1100m at Seymour yesterday (27 April).
The lightly raced State of Being – out of the Keltrice mare Exotic Treat – was having his third outing, coming to Bendigo with a fourth at Moonee Valley on debut and whisker second at Kilmore earlier in the month.
State of Being’s dam is a half sister to the magnificent sprinter/miler Umrum (14 wins including two Toorak Handicaps-G1) and the dam of multiple stakes winner Tan Tat De Lago.
Meanwhile, Manhattan Lad certainly appears to have found his feet by notching up his second win after a run of six placings from 11 starts.
Manhattan Lad is a half brother to this year’s VRC Bob Hoysted Handicap-LR winner Devil May Care and is out of the Noalcoholic mare, Destry Girl.


Cascabel takes out Blue Ribbon

There was a bunch of very happy – and relieved – owners at Bendigo on Monday (26 April) to watch their pride and joy, Cascabel, take out the Blue Ribbon Foundation CRV Championship.
The Bendigo Advertiser takes up the story of this rapidly rising Bel Esprit 4YO:

A bout of sickness in the lead-up to the Blue Ribbon almost caused Cascabel (below) to be scratched from the lucrative race, before being passed fit and taking out the race ahead of From The Terrace and Grail Jeuney.
It was not a perfect run for the Cranbourne-based horse, sitting at the back of the group in the early stages of the race and battling to stay in touch on the turn. The horse then surprised his supporters, chasing down the field to win in a close finish.
Foreman for Robbie Griffiths Racing, Reid Balfour said although he was confident in Cascabel’s ability, his start of the race was not one of his best.
“We were quite confident, but when the gates opened he was quite slow to get away and I was a bit apprehensive then when he got so far back.
“He’s never raced that way and finished the race as strongly as that before.
“Usually when he wins he’s up on the speed and he doesn’t have to make a long run, so it was a bit foreign to him how he raced today.”
Cascabel won at his previous start, but Balfour said the quality of that field was not comparable to that in the Blue Ribbon Foundation Championship: “He won his last start, but it was only a four-horse field at Cranbourne.
“Today was a bit of a grand final for him. It’s a $100,000 restricted race, but it’s a rich race.
“I’m not too sure where he’ll be off to next, probably somewhere in the city.”
Cascabel’s win delighted it’s many part owners, with the horse being owned by two major syndicates – the Ricky Bobby Syndicate and the Sceptic Racing Syndicate.
Robbie Griffiths Racing representative and Ricky Bobby Syndicate member Cheryl McCarthy said Cascabel had come a long way since joining the Griffiths Racing family.
“We bought him as a yearling out of the sales in Sydney. We syndicated him. He probably wasn’t one of Robbie’s first horses to go, he’d been left behind for a few different reasons, but we put a syndicate together.
“We’ve had the horse since he was a baby and they’ve kept him and he’s been successful progressively.
“We paid $18,000 for him and he’s now collected $200,000.’’
McCarthy was pleased with Cascabel’s ability to get back in the race, despite being well back early on.
“He sat back on the speed, although we’d normally keep him up on the pace and he’s come around and balanced himself and swooped on top of them.
“On the turn I thought he was gone, but he just motored, so we’re really proud of him.’’
One of racing’s good luck stories!

Beltrois heads to Goodwood

While on the subject of Robbie Griffiths and his team of Bel Esprits, Beltrois is having a date with destiny at Morphettville on Sunday (2 May).
Slated to run in the $300,000 Distinctive Homes Goodwood Handicap, Beltrois (below) is poised to become the second Bel Esprit Group One winner and Robbie Griffiths’ first.
This one comes courtesy of the Bel Esprit Winners Club:
Trainer Robbie Griffiths is prepared to overlook an inconclusive leadup run and remains optimistic that Beltrois can get the job done in the Goodwood on Sunday.
Griffiths was hoping that the Pink Ribbon Cup (1200m) at Caulfield two weeks ago would give him a guide on Beltrois’ Goodwood chances, but he came away from the race no wiser after the gelding got hopelessly pocketed and finished 13th.
“The run was really inconclusive,” Griffiths said. “When they finish so far back you can’t say they should have won but he would have been in the finish for sure.
“He never got a whiff of a chance. The only way he was going to get out of the pocket was with a helicopter.”
Beltrois has been specifically aimed at the Goodwood (1200m) since January when he was second to Royal Ida in the Group Three Standish Handicap (1200m) at Flemington and won the Listed LT Cleary Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield.
The Pink Ribbon was only his second run this campaign after an encouraging third behind Definitely Ready and Al’s Best Mate at Caulfield on April 3.
“His first-up run was really good and his work has been good so I wouldn’t let his unplaced run deter people from following him,” Griffiths said.

Monday, April 26, 2010


The impending sale of Byerley Stud in the Hunter Valley has resulted in a change of location for Sharkbite, the promising young Redoute’s Choice sire, who will be switched to Victoria for the 2010 breeding season.
Eliza Park will stand the stakes-winning son of Redoute’s Choice at a fee of $5,500 inc. GST in conjunction with the stallion’s shareholders Jonathan Munz and Debbie and Joe Throsby.
“With the phenomenal success of sons of Redoute’s Choice at stud, Eliza Park was quick to snap up the opportunity to stand Sharkbite, who is one of only two stakeswinning sons of Redoute’s Choice at stud in Victoria” said Eliza Park Chief Executive, Cameron Croucher.
“There is no doubting the potential of the Redoute’s Choice sire dynasty and he has the runs on the board.
“We are very confident about God’s Own and Sharkbite gives us another son of Redoutes who was also a stakeswinner in Melbourne and a genuinely talented racehorse.
“He is a smashing type with an incredible pedigree and cost $900,000 as a yearling. There would actually be no surprise if Sharkbite ends up as the dominant son of Redoutes rather than some of his higher priced brothers. At $5,500 inc. GST he is great value.
“Sharkbite’s stud career got off to a flying start in his first season last year, with strong support from Jonathan and the Throsbys, as well as outside breeders. They have firmly committed to supporting him again with an outstanding group of mares, including stakeswinners, dams of stakeswinners and close relations to stakeswinners. Of course, the Throsbys have already enjoyed incredible stallion success as the initial shareholders of Encosta de Lago which started his stud career at a fee of $8500.”
A $900,000 purchase from the 2005 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale for Dean Hawthorne Bloodstock on behalf of Jonathan Munz’s Pinecliff Racing Syndicate, Sharkbite was a magnificent yearling that showed untapped ability as a two year-old.
Despite being troubled by persistent shin-soreness, the talented colt won his first two starts in brilliant fashion for Rodney Douglas as a late two year-old, before finishing second to champion three year-old Haradasun in the Listed MRC Vain Stakes over 1100 metres at just his third start in a race.
Placed twice more in Group Three company during the spring, including a third to the Caulfield Guineas hero Wonderful World, Sharkbite was considered a colt of genuine Group One potential and as such was transferred to the stables of David Hayes.
Sadly, Sharkbite failed to find form for his new trainer in the autumn after suffering a back injury and was subsequently returned to Rodney Douglas with happy results all round.
Sharkbite won three of his next five starts for Douglas including a sizzling win over the straight 1200 metres at Flemington on Cup Day and a powerful victory in the Listed MRC Lord Stakes over 1700m at Caulfield, retiring with the record of five wins and five placings from 23 starts with prizemoney of $292,000.
Sharkbite has a sensational stallion pedigree, being from the Juddmonte Farms bred mare Back Pass (USA), a half-sister by Quest for Fame to Group Two winner Three Valleys from the family of freakishly good producer Hasili.
For those unfamiliar with Hasili, she is the Northern Hemisphere version of Eight Carat (GB) as the dam of an amazing five Group One winners in Banks Hill, Intercontinental, Heat Haze, Cacique and Champs Elysees, while her Group Two winning son Dansili is one of the best stallions in Europe.
In the 12 months since Sharkbite was initially retired to stud, his own sire Redoute’s Choice has gone ahead in leaps and bounds as a sire of sires.
His son Stratum is now the leading freshman sire in Australia, siring the 2010 Golden Slipper winner, Crystal Lily, in his first crop, as well as other stakes horses.
Another son in Snitzel is not far behind with Group Two Silver Slipper winner Chance Bye in his first crop and other early 2YO winners.
Not A Single Doubt has stakes horses and was leading first season sire and other sons such as God’s Own, Bradbury’s Luck, Al Samer and even Marmottan are also making their mark.

For more information contact: David Somers 0428 440 330, Mark Lindsay 0416 334 338, Phil Marshall 0407 853 782 or


Gutsy performance by Danbird first starter, The Birdman, at Yarra Valley yesterday (25 April), fighting on gamely to score over the 1000m journey.
Trained by Brendan McCarthy and partly-owned by his breeders, The Birdman is out of the Zephyr Zip mare, Seas Gem, giving him a 4 x 4 cross to Biscay.
It’s been quite a week for Danbird with the win of The Birdman following up victories by to Buzz Bird and Cocktail Charlie in England.


Highly underrated stallion, Clangalang, produced his second Sandown winner in four days with the victory of Mistaken Grace in the 1600m Jan Wilson Handicap on Saturday (24 April).
Trained by Shane Nichols, this was Mistaken Grace’s first trip to town but based on the way she fought on, it won’t be her last.
Bred by Carol Stuart and out of the Sanction mare, Turlington, Mistaken Grace has now raced on eight occasions for two wins and two placings and is clearly improving with each run.
A half sister to two winners, this is also the family of 3-time stakes winner and multiple Group One placed Algonquin Club.
Head breaker, Darren Mackereth also points out that Mistaken Grace (below) was broken in and pre-trained at Eliza Park.

Speaking of breakers, Viking Hero – who ran an outstanding third for Mike Moroney in the AJC Frank Packer Plate-G3 on Saturday – is another graduate of the Eliza Park school of education.
Previously stakes placed in Melbourne, the 3YO colt finished just over a length from the winner and ANZ Bloodstock News reported: Viking Hero ran a tough race after coming back from a throat infection. Enjoying a nice run in transit he was there to challenge four deep into the straight but was soon under pressure and looked to beaten 200m out but he kept on trying and was closing again at the finish.

BTW, Darren (below) is also the proud part-owner of Bel Esprit filly Halo Spirit who, not surprisingly, was also broken in at Eliza Park.
Venturing to Mick Price’s stable at 5am on Saturday, Darren watched his filly work and she is evidently a month off a trial of jumpout.
We’ll keep you posted on when she starts, especially as the other two to race out of Halo Spirit’s dam, Hunter Halo, have both won, while the second and third dams have produced 12 winners from 15 to race. Like the odds!


Oh so close! In a sizzling display at Ascot on Saturday (24 April), Peach Tree became Bel Esprit’s 14th stakes horse but went within a whisker of becoming his 10th stakes winner.
Racing in the $75,000 Matchmaker Classic-LR over 1400m, Peach Tree led them for home and looked home for all money before tying up over the final 50m, allowing Scenic Fair to get up on the line.
The west is doing Peach Tree the world of good however and despite failing to crack it for a win when based at Caulfield (although she did run four placings from five starts), the filly hasn’t looked back since joining the stables of Mark Reed.
Dead heating for first at Ascot at the end of March, Peach Tree then ran third, won in her own right at Ascot and is now stakes placed.
Capital black type isn’t far off.
Bred by Barree Stud, Peach Tree is out of the Naturalism mare, Georgia.
But while Peach Tree failed in the last stride at Ascot, another Bel Esprit 3YO in Striding Success had no such problems at Morphettville yesterday (25 April), cruising to victory in the Beersheba Handicap over 1000m.
Bred by Tucketts Road Holdings Pty Ltd and sold to Trevor Dansie for $27,000 through Eliza Park’s 2008 Adelaide Magic Millions draft, Striding Success has only once been out of the money in six starts, winning his debut at Balaklava and following up with two victories at Morphettville.
Out of the 5-time winning Snippets mare, La Bella Zaccola, this is also the family of Demus, Innocent Affair, Viking Legend, Innocent Gamble and co.
He also continues the great run of Bel Esprit with Snippets’ mares: six winners from seven runners including stakes winner Vivacious Spirit.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Terrific win by Bel Esprit 3YO, Surgess, at Kranji last night (23 April), coming from near last on the turn to score a memorable victory: his first in Singapore.
Trained by Steven Burridge, Surgess (below) was bred by Eliza Park and is out of the Marauding mare, Harvest Bird – now the dam of five winners (from six to race) including stakes winners Sunday Gold (VRC St Leger-G3) and Zedimbi (11 wins).
Sold by Eliza Park at the 2008 Inglis Melbourne Premier, Surgess was broken in and pre trained at Eliza Park before being ‘pin hooked’ to the Gold Coast Horses in Training Sale for $77,500 and arrived in Singapore in June of last year.
Before last night, Surgess had compiled a tidy record – a couple of placings – but the way he went to the line in the $S65,000 FPA Financial Prosperity Trophy over 1600m would indicate there are quite a few more wins in store.
Caught up near last on the turn, he ran into a dead end on straightening and absolutely flew home to score on the wire. Do yourself a favour and have a look at the race film by clicking here. Very impressive!
Unlike the majority of Bel Esprits who excel over the shorter courses, this bloke looks as if he’ll just keep getting better as he gets over more ground.

Photo courtesy of Singapore Turf Club


Apart from being a champion bloke and a (former) medical practitioner of repute, Graham McLeod has dabbled a bit in the breeding caper over the years with a number of notable neddies originating from his Camoquhill Stud in Hobart.
One which readily springs to mind is the rather aptly named dual stakes winner, Quit Smokin’, while another is Gai Waterhouse’s Group winner and multiple Group One placed Bank Robber.
Out of Graham’s sadly deceased mare, Saliah, Banker Robber has won over $540,000 after being sold to Denise Martin’s Star Thoroughbreds for $70,000.
Denise is a good mate of Graham’s (having grown up in Tassie) and it’s fairly safe to assume she’s an even better mate now!
Anyway, Bank Robber is a half brother to another of Graham’s home breds in Tycoon Sali whom he raced in Hobart with trainer Charlie Goggin before retiring her to stud in 2005.
Sending the mare across Bass Strait, Tycoon Sali was covered by Statue of Liberty with the resultant progeny being Liberty Tycoon who saluted in the first at Geelong yesterday (April 23): the Crime Stoppers SV 3YO Maiden Plate over 1121m.
After purchasing the now 3YO at the 2008 Tasmanian Yearling Sale for just $12,000, Terry Kelly withdrew the colt from the Gold Coast Horses in Training Sale … a move which may well prove to be very profitable based on Liberty Tycoon’s performance at Geelong.
Liberty Tycoon (below, rails), whose dam is also a half sister to the stakes placed Kwassa Kwassa and closely related to stakes winners Ponton Flyer and Minnesota Shark, was having only his fourth run yesterday and appears to have his share of ability.

Friday, April 23, 2010


The confident win of Bob Keirl’s mare – Lady Settain (ex. Torrential mare Rain in Settain) – over 1100m at Ballarat yesterday (22 April) augurs well for Statue of Liberty’s weekend runners.
Greg Eurell’s flying machine, Mic Mac (below), is aiming for his eighth win – and first at Group One level – in the All Aged Stakes over 1400m at Randwick, while Darren Weir’s exciting 2YO – Broadway Harmony – will line up in the Tobruk Handicap over 1000m at Sandown.
Broadway Harmony was first spotted at Moonee Valley on 19 March with an impressive victory on debut.
Hot off the win of Golden Star in the Group One Challenge in Macau this week, Statue of Liberty’s stocks are at an all time high with bookings to the Storm Cat stallion – brisk – to say the very least.


Sam Turner’s Bel Esprit 4YO – Sandhill Pride – if you’ll excuse the pun, can’t miss at the moment.
Having his second start in seven days, Sandhill Pride scooted away to score by over three panels at Narcoorte on Thursday (22 April), a similar margin to that he recorded at Mt Gambier the week prior.
Sandhill Pride is out of the Broad Reach mare Can’t Miss and his winning tally is now four (along with three placings) from 21 starts.


When it comes to bread and butter stallions, there are few better than ‘history maker’ Clangalang.
The only winner of the AJC Derby/Epsom double, Clangalang is a continual source of winners and followed up the victory of the highly consistent Lakedro at Seymour on Tuesday (20 April) with a very classy performance by Reverberates at Sandown on Wednesday (21 April).
On paper, Reverberates is not Clangalang’s best performer – that honour would go to recent Tasmanian Derby winner Geegees Blackflash – but she certainly has the potential to stand out from the crowd.
Reverberates has now raced twice since an enforced 12 month layoff and won on both occasions. The win at Sandown was superb and reminiscent of her previous win at the track in January of last year, coming from the tail of the field at the 400m to score impressively.
After that Sandown win, Reverberates (below) would go on to twice run fourth to Gallica in the Angus Armanasco-G2 and Kewney Stakes-G2 before being sidelined through injury.
Trainer David ‘Butch’ Bourne is fairly relaxed about his Clangalang mare’s immediate future, but is very confident that she will be a major contender in the spring.
Bred by Simon O’Donnell and Terry Henderson of OTI Racing (who also race the mare), Reverberates is out of the Kaapstad mare, Startling Belle, and is from the family of Group One winner and sire St Jude.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Exciting Irish stallion, BUSHRANGER, will head to Victoria this spring following Eliza Park’s decision to purchase a 50% interest in the Champion 2YO.

Standing the stallion in conjunction with Ireland’s Tally-Ho Stud, which actually bred Bushranger and stood his sire, Danetime, Eliza Park is ecstatic at the opportunity to launch the Australian career of this dual Group One winner.
Like that other famous bushranger of Irish heritage, Eliza Park’s acquisition is game, is strong and is fast. Very fast!
Bushranger would break the race record for the prestigious Prix Morny-G1 at Deauville … an event first staged in 1865. Ominously, Bushranger shares the Prix Morny honour roll with Champion Sires, Blushing Groom, Irish River, Machiavellian and Zafonic.
Crossing the Channel, Bushranger would then win the Group One Middle Park Stakes, breaking Oasis Dream’s record for the six furlongs at Newmarket.Not just the fastest Middle Park of all time – the fastest six furlongs EVER at one the world’s most elite racecourses.
Even quicker than July Cup winners Oasis Dream (England’s boom sire who defeated Choisir in a thriller), Stravinsky, Royal Academy, Green Desert and Anabaa.
Not surprisingly, Bushranger would be crowned Champion 2YO of England and Champion 2YO of France.
“We are delighted to have Bushranger back at Tally-Ho,” Tony O’Callaghan, principal of Tally-Ho Stud, enthused. “We sold him as a yearling and he went on to become a dual Group One winner at two – breaking long standing records in both.
“Bushranger is clearly the most exciting prospect going to stud in Ireland this year and I’ve never seen so much demand for a new horse. He’s certainly as popular as Danetime at his peak and breeders see real value in this stallion.
“What’s more, he could not have gotten off to a better start.”
Although Bushranger made his considerable mark on British and European tracks, his sire Danetime – one of Danehill’s most successful shuttlers – is certainly no stranger to local racegoers.
The Champion First Season Sire of Europe, Danetime covered just three crops in Australia, but produced 18 stakes horses and a massive 71% winners to runners.
Only last week, his Group One winning son, Megatic, won the Grandstand Stakes-LR in Perth.
Despite his relatively short time at stud, Danetime would produce 27 black type (3 Group One) winners and 46 stakes horses overall.
Danetime is sorely missed on both sides of the equator, prompting highly respected industry commentator, Tony Morris to say: “Danetime’s early demise was a significant loss. He possessed the valuable gift of upgrading his mares.”
Now it’s Bushranger’s turn and Eliza Park’s General Manager Operations, David Somers, is convinced the stallion can pick up where his sire left off.
“He (Bushranger) had a very similar racing action to Danetime. The way he stretched out – especially when challenged – is indicative of his big heart and ability,” Somers points out. “It’s hard to go past a Danehill line sprinter these days and it’s unlikely that any Champion 2YO coming to Australia – and a Newmarket track record holder at that – has stood at such a lucrative fee.”
Bushranger will stand this season at a fee of $11,000 inc. GST with a live foal guarantee and no payment of service fee until 31 March 2011.
For further information phone David Somers on 0428 440 330, Mark Lindsay on 0416 334 338 or Phil Marshall on 0407 853 782.


Cranbourne trainer, Greg Eurell, can certainly find a winner and has had a couple to well and truly fly his flag over recent seasons: Apache Cat and Statue of Liberty flyer, Mic Mac, springing readily to mind.
Now, while Lakedro, might not be in the same category as the aforementioned, the lightly raced 4YO son of Clangalang nevertheless has his share of ability.
Only having his first start last August, Lakedro finished with thirds at Kilmore and Ballarat before peeling off successive victories at Geelong (by six lengths) and Kyneton.
Tipped out for a spell, Lakedro hasn’t had the greatest of luck since resuming in February, featuring in the stewards reports with his eighth at Sandown and fourth at Moonee Valley.
But nothing compared to the ‘chapter’ they devoted to the horse following his second at Moonee Valley on 8 March when beaten less than a half length.
Lakedro then appeared in the Albury Cup (finishing sixth to Growl) before finally breaking through for a well deserved victory at Seymour on Tuesday (20 April), scoring comfortably over the 1600m.
Bred by Dennis Rose, Lakedro is out of the Nassipour mare, Enchanting Style and is from the family of European Group winner and successful Aussie sire, Lord Seymour, Caerwent, Marling, Marwell etc.
Meanwhile, Clangalang goes from strength to strength in 2010 with his Group winner Geegees Blackflash heading a phalanx of winners in recent weeks, including Reverberates, plus city winners Hi Belle, Prince Obama, Bavarian Belle and Hemony to name but a few.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Sometimes a horse will live up to his or her name.
Golden Star is definitely one of them.
The Aussie bred son of Statue of Liberty absolutely trounced them in the Chairman’s Challenge-G1 at Taipa in Macau on Saturday (17 April), winning by over seven lengths in the 1200m scamper.
Jumping from the gates as if the ghost riders were on his hammer, Golden Star raced truly to the home straight before unleashing a powerful burst over the last two furlongs.
Hailing from the winning Snaadee mare, Anley, and closely related to Group winning sprinter Friday Creek, Golden Star (below) was sent to the Macau stables of Pat Lee last year and commenced racing in August, finishing a neck second on debut.
The Statue of Liberty 4YO then peeled off five successive wins (all of them by margins) … leading from go to whoa.
Despite a sixth in late January – the only time he’s finished out of a place – Golden Star was back on track with a comfortable win, followed by a sharp second to Ecstatic Macau (a Group One winner at his next star) before his seven panel romp on Saturday.
On the other side of the equator, Solchow went close to making it a stakes double for Statue of Liberty when second to Catapulted in the DC McKay Stakes-G3 over 1100m at Morphettville.
Solchow has been the model of consistency – a real trait with the Statue of Libertys (eg. Mic Mac, winner of seven of his first eight starts, Hay List, nine from 10) – and has now raced on 21 occasions for six wins and nine placings: five of those wins in town and three stakes placings.
Interestingly, Solchow’s dam Triple Salchow is by Citidancer who is, in turn, a son of Lomond (Northern Dancer x My Charmer), while Statue of Liberty’s dam, Charming Lassie is by Seattle Slew (Bold Reasoning x My Charmer).
However, it’s fair to say that Statue of Liberty – by world champion sire Storm Cat, from one of the strongest families in the Stud Book – possesses one of the most ‘matchable’ pedigrees you’ll find.
The win of Golden Star took Statue of Liberty’s list of black type winners to seven (along with 10 stakes placegetters) and surely Hay List (now in the stable of John McNair) will add to the tally when he returns to racing.
Meanwhile, Mic Mac – a 3-time stakes winner and third, when resuming, in the TJ Smith Stakes-G1 at Randwick on 10 April, is due to line up in the time honored All Aged Stakes-G1 this Saturday.

Monday, April 19, 2010


The Blues Brothers were ‘On A Mission From God’ in the 1980 cult movie starring John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd. The award winning film is still popular a generation after its release and now the name has been reprised by a God’s Own galloper.
Karl Patterson from Thoroughbred Express takes the pulpit …

Friday, April 16, 2010


Thursday, April 15, 2010


Bel Esprit reached another milestone today when his Group One winning mare, Bel Mer (below), was sold to Patinack Farm for $1,050,000, topping the Inglis Australian Easter Broodmare Sale.
Patinack has been active at Australasia’s premier broodmare gathering and clearly had the Group One winning mare in their sights.
Little wonder: racing on 19 occasions (17 at stakes level), Bel Mer would win four black type events – culminating in the Robert Sangster Stakes-G1 last March.
She would also finish runnerup to the Horse of the Year Weekend Hussler in the Ascot Vale Stakes-G1.
Bred by Ariel Arnott and out of the stakes winning At Talaq mare Drop Anchor, Bel Mer is a sister to Singapore Group winner Mooring and a granddaughter of Flemington stakes winner Marine Park.
Foaled, raised and sold by Eliza Park, Bel Mer fetched $110,000 as a yearling at the 2006 Gold Coast Magic Millions.


The nation’s premier sprinter, WANTED, has been retired to stand at Eliza Park in Victoria.
Arguably the hottest property heading to stud this spring, Wanted’s future has been the subject of industry conjecture since he – literally – stormed home to victory in the $1,005,000 Group One VRC Newmarket Handicap at Flemington in early March.
Outpacing both the fastest horses in Australasia AND the worst hailstorm to hit Melbourne in living memory, Wanted secured his hooftnote in history with a powerhouse performance.
(Interestingly, among Newmarket winners, leading sires Century, General Nediym and Exceed And Excel also took out the race as three year olds)
Hailing from the first crop of Danehill’s boom stallion Fastnet Rock, Wanted was – at $800,000 – his sire’s most expensive yearling. As one industry pundit declared recently: “Wanted has phenomenal good looks”.
Wanted also boasts a highly commercial pedigree with half brother, Shrapnel, a two year old stakes winner this season, while their dam, Fragmentation, is a stakes winning Snippets mare.
Trained by Peter Moody, Wanted would race on 15 occasions – 14 of those starts in black type company.
Indeed, in the three lead ups to the Newmarket – all at Group One level – Wanted would finish a head, a head and a half length shy of the winner.
Moody has always maintained a high opinion of Wanted and pulled no punches immediately after the Newmarket, stating: “on today’s performance, there is probably no better sprinter in the land”.
That’s an opinion shared – in part at least – with industry bible Timeform, which has ranked Wanted (along with dual Group One winner Starspangledbanner) the leading three year old in Australia.
While it’s been well documented that Wanted is a ‘rig’ and there were initial issues in regards to obtaining fertility insurance, Eliza Park aggressively chased the horse following the opinion of two of the world’s leading reproductive veterinary surgeons in Dr Angus McKinnon and Dr Geoff Hazard.
A delighted Eliza Park CEO, Cameron Croucher, announced the acquisition last night after striking a deal with Wanted’s managing owner, Eddie Hayson, who will continue to support the stallion with top line mares.
“This is a tremendous coup for both Eliza Park and the Victorian breeding industry,” Croucher enthused.
Wanted will be limited to a book of 80 mares in his first season and will stand at an introductory fee of $38,500 inc. GST.

For further information, contact Eliza Park’s nominations team: David Somers (0428 440 330), Mark Lindsay (0416 334 338) or Phil Marshall (0407 853 782) or email

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


After six placings in 11 starts, the victory of Statue of Liberty 4YO, Manhattan Lad, at Benalla yesterday (13 April) was seriously well deserved.
Fighting out a thrilling finish with Danbird filly, Super Swell – a three quarter sister to Group One winner Bel Mer and the Group winner Mooring – Manhattan Lad got his noggin up right on the line to score by a whisker.
Bred, part-owned and trained by the (Wayne) Nichols clan, Manhattan Lad is out of the Noalcoholic mare Destry Girl.
Picked up by Wayne for song at the 2003 Inglis March Thoroughbred Sale, Destry Girl won 11 races and is now the dam of eight winners from eight to race.
Manhattan Lad’s half sister, Devil May Care, won five over the 1000m including the Bob Hoysted Stakes-LR at Flemington.


After his treble on Sunday, Bel Esprit didn’t have a winner on Monday, which probably had a lot to do with the fact he didn’t have a runner.
Still, the day off appeared to do Victoria’s Champion Sire no harm with Belcino – his 4YO from the Century mare Ciento – scoring by two lengths over 1206m at Benalla.
Although he is yet to win in the city, Belcino is – in many ways – the ideal horse.
Think about it for a minute. His earnings won’t provide a great team of owners – headed by Charlie Bugeja and Peter Lord – with a retirement plan any time soon, but he’s given them plenty of fun.
Bred by Charlie and Peter, Belcino was originally with John Symons and Sheila Laxon before switching to Steve Richards’ stable late last year.
Belcino won a trial as a spring 2YO and was then thrown in at the deep end with an eighth in the Merson Cooper Stakes-LR on debut, followed by terrific fourth to All American at Moonee Valley after hanging badly throughout.
Resuming in the May, Belcino won a thriller at Canberra and, along the way, has recorded a win at Wangaratta and two at Benalla.
This time in, Belcino has had a win and three placings from five starts and, all up, claims a record a four wins and three placings from 15 outings.
Plenty to cheer about!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Danehill’s Group Two winning 2YO, Danbird (below), was on fire this Sunday past (11 April) with a memorable two hemisphere double: scoring with debutante, Heartbreak Lass, at Hobart and then with the appropriately named, Chase The Dream, in Malaysia.
Firstly to Heartbreak Lass. Word is on the street that this filly is something special. I know that’s a little late to be snapping up the $3.30 they had on offer around 3.30 on Sunday, but you’re likely to see this gal in the winners’ circle quite regularly based on her performance at Hobart.
Trained by Michael Luttrell, Heartbreak Lass absolutely blitzed her rivals (broke their hearts you might say) to win by over seven lengths … which not a bad day’s work for a first starter.
Heartbreak Lass is out of the Brocco mare Capital Growth and breeder Chris Gliddon now has quite a viable breeding prospect on his hands, given that his mare has produced two city winners from three to race and is a half sister to multiple Group winner Hey Pronto.
It will be interesting to see what Luttrell does next with his filly. She is definitely one for the black book.
Meanwhile, a couple of hours and some 7,000kms apart, Chase The Dream notched up the Danbird double when successful over the 1200m at Malaysia’s Selangor racecourse.
Chase The Dream was in similar ‘no nonsense’ form to that of his Hobart sibling, winning by a growing three lengths and he too is a galloper of some repute.
Bred jointly by Eliza Park and June Fletcher, Chase The Dream was sold as a weanling to New Zealand buyers before eventually finding a home in Malaysia.
The now 3YO has had a win and a couple of placings from eight starts and is out of the Grosvenor mare Laudine, a dual winning three quarter sister in blood to WA Oaks-G2 winner Unpretentious.
Laudine has – by all accounts – an outstanding Written Tycoon yearling filly, which was purchased from Eliza Park by Sharni Officer at last year’s Gold Coast weanling sale, along with a Shinzig filly at foot and is now in foal to Magnus.

Monday, April 12, 2010


A great day out for Bel Esprit progeny on Sunday (11 April) with another treble for Victoria’s Champion Sire.
Apple Esprit got the ball rolling at Colac, while Cascabel then Darwin scored at Cranbourne.
Will have to check with stats guru, Brian Donohoe, as to the number of trebles that Bel Esprit has now notched up, but he has moved significantly up the charts with 75 winners for the season, which has him hovering close to the top 10.
Apple Esprit was notching up her second career victory – the first for trainer Rick Harrison – when successful over the 1100m at Colac.
Out of the Zeditave mare, Zapple, Apple Esprit was bred by Victoria’s Nardoo Valley Stud and is a full sister to Strudel, who won in Western Australia on 5 April.
Zapple is out of the brilliant Danehill mare and 5-time stakes winner, Apple Danish.

Robbie Griffiths’ Cascabel (left) is proving to be one of the great bargain buys after the Cranbourne trainer picked him up for just $18,000 at the 2007 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale in Sydney.
With four wins (and six placings) from 20 starts now tucked under his belt, Cascabel has returned his very excited bunch of connections over $140,000 in stakes and, based on his win at Cranbourne, there’s plenty more where that came from.

Out of the Kala Dancer mare Gogo Doll, Cascabel was stepping out in the Highview Accounting Service-72 Handicap and Brad Rawiller rode him a treat, getting up by a panel and a bit.
Bred by Richard Pietrykowski, Cascabel is owned by Mick Baker, Paul Beckham, Greg Burgess, Michael Burslem, James Chan, Barb Gallaher, Damian Goss, Rose Mackey, Ricky Bobby Syndicate, Les Newman, Lloyd Palmer and Darren Ricardo … the happiest crew of owners you’ll find.
Below is an interesting chart compiled by Brian – the Bel Esprit trainers’ premiership – and it’s interesting to note that Robbie’s win has him tugging at Mick Price’s coat.
Last but certainly not least is the Mark Jackson trained 4YO, Darwin, who captured the seventh at Cranbourne – the Settlers Run Golf Club Handicap-62 over 1400m.
Only lightly raced, Darwin won his previous race almost 12 months to the day, picking up a Stawell Maiden on 12 April 2009.
However, Darwin had been on the sidelines for 37 weeks and his four runs since resuming include a third at Cranbourne, plus yesterday’s win.
Out of the Sound Reason mare, Lady Acumen, Darwin was bred by Dr Michael Rose at Gisborne and is a half brother to five winners including Adelaide Cup-G1 winner The A Train, multiple Group placed Instantly and Launceston Cup-G3 runnerup Lady Atire.


Eliza Park’s Asian representative, Lyle Plumb, has always had an eye for a good neddy and that ‘vision’ has certainly been on target of late.
Rangirangdoo, a horse Lyle purchased on behalf of clients, is now a dual Group Two winner and 3-time Group One runnerup, while his $10,000 purchase at the 2006 Gold Coast Magic Millions – Good Nature – is wowing them in Malaysia.

Racing and Sports takes up the story.
Australian-bred Good Nature notched up his second Malaysian classic on Sunday (11 April) when he edged out Sanjuan in the $M600,000 Group One Selangor Gold Cup.
With leading apprentice Jacky Lim in the saddle, Good Nature was able to double his feature race win count following success in the Perak Derby five runs back.
Trained by former South African horseman Kevin Coetzee, Good Nature is an Australian bred son of Way of Light who was sold by Magic Millions as both a weanling and yearling.
At his most recent sale appearance Lyle Plumb purchased Good Nature for $10,000 from the Couzinz draft at the 2006 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.
The quality performer boasts the impressive record of eight wins and seven minor placings from just 23 starts. In that time he’s earned the Golden Knight Stable over M$1.1 million.
Good Nature is the stand out winner to date for the once winning French Deputy mare Tears We Cry - a half sister to Hawkesbury Guineas runner-up and Silver Slipper Stakes third Five Ways.
Tears We Cry is from a Miswaki half sister to champion mare Miss Alleged - a Breeders’ Cup Turf and Hollywood Turf Cup winner and proven stakes producer.

If you are interested in racing and/or selling your horse in South East Asia, please contact Lyle Plumb +61 390186556 or


God’s Own continued building some late season momentum when he produced his second winner in eight days after Onamissionfromgod made a winning return at Wangaratta on Sunday (11 April).
For a stallion that didn’t commence his race career until a month before turning three it was fair to expect his progeny may take a little time to find their feet, and indeed it wasn’t until February that God’s Own broke his duck when Heavens Own scored at the Sunshine Coast.
That was followed last Saturday when Captain Oates scored in New Zealand and was quickly backed up today with Onamissionfromgod (below, pictured left as a yearling).
Onamissionfromgod was resuming after two starts in the spring which saw an unplaced effort on debut in the Maribyrnong Plate-G3 at Flemington before a short head second at Ballarat prior to spelling.
A strong type from Carbonated, a half-sister to Intelligent Star, Blaze The Turf and Aerate’s Pick (the dam of Ortensia), he was offered by Eliza Park at the Inglis Premier Yearling Sale in Melbourne being knocked down to David O’Callaghan Bloodstock for $34,000 and sent to the stables of Alicia Macpherson.
Since January 1, God’s Own has had 11 runners in Australia with two winners and four placegetters, along with Captain Oates in New Zealand.

God’s Own stands at Eliza Park in conjunction with Yallambee Stud.

Article reprinted courtesy of Breednet

Sunday, April 11, 2010


How good is Delago Brom going? Last Saturday (3 April) he produced his fourth stakes winner with the ultra consistent, Ecstatic Macau (taking out the Director’s Cup-G2 at Taipa), a winner on Thursday with Verdasco, a winner on Friday with Brombed Out and, on Saturday (10 April), stakes winner No. 5 with Danaupair Starlet.
Full marks too for the Hoffelner family who raced Delago Brom and bred both Ecstatic Macau and Danaupair Starlet.
Fittingly, the Hoffelners race Danaupair Starlet and watched yesterday as the classy 3YO defied rivals to take out the Group Three Sportingbet SA Fillies Classic over 2400m at Morphettville.
Racing wide throughout, Danaupair Starlet took the lead 400m out and was left a sitting duck, but showed plenty of grit to pull away and score by a length.
Danaupair Starlet was earlier stakes placed in Tasmania, but this was by far her biggest pay day, taking her earnings to $100k plus from three wins and six placings in 12 starts.
It’s probably fair to say that Delago Brom has thrown everyone a bit: a Group One runnerup at two and fourth in the Blue Diamond at his second start, the son of Encosta de Lago would win the Carbine Club-G3 on Derby Day and the VRC Australian Guineas-G1 at three.
The natural assumption was that he would predominantly produce early comers over shorter courses, but it hasn’t exactly panned out that way. Not to say that he doesn’t produce precocious types … last year’s Black Opal winner, Delago Bolt and 2010 2YO stakes winner Radha Rani, would disprove that theory, but Delago Brom is also gaining renown for the versatility of progeny as they get over more ground.
If you’re looking to breed one to race, it might pay to have a long hard look at Delago Brom.


Statue of Liberty trail blazer, Mic Mac (below), might have blemished his first up record at Randwick on Saturday (10 April), but certainly lost no admirers with his gutsy third behind Melito in the TJ Smith Stakes-G1.
Cranbourne trainer, Greg Eurell always has his charge finely tuned but was facing a crack field including Melito (dual Group Two winner), Hot Danish (9 time stakes winner), 2009 Rosehill Guineas-G1 winner Metal Bender, dual Group One winner Lord Tavistock and, of course, last start Newmarket Handicap-G1 hero Wanted.
Mic Mac would finish on the heels of eventual winner Melito and a bee’s appendage behind Hot Danish and connections have now set a formidable task for their sprinter, starting with the All Aged Stakes-G1 at Randwick, before heading to Brisbane for the BTC Cup-G1 and Doomben 10,000-G1.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Eliza Park has enjoyed a hugely successful auction season, celebrating the sale of the 70th yearling under its banner in 2010 at this week’s Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale.
Setting up shop at the Gold Coast, Launceston, Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney, Eliza Park also consigned a draft to New Zealand for the first time, selling a Fusaichi Pegasus for $260,000 and Holy Roman Emperor for $180,000.
Meanwhile, on home turf, Eliza Park achieved the highest aggregate at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale, selling the highest priced yearlings by Bel Esprit ($170,000), Canny Lad ($80,000), Choisir ($235,000), Commands ($140,000), Magic Albert ($60,000), Reset ($130,000) and Written Tycoon ($85,000).
But probably the most encouraging result out of yearling sales 2010 was Eliza Park’s clearance rate. In light of 80% (Easter) and 82% (Gold Coast) clearances at Australia’s two major sales, Eliza Park’s overall clearance of 92% - at all sales – is a litmus test for both the stud’s preparation and preparedness to meet the market.
A job well done to all the team at Eliza Park’s dedicated sales preparation facility – Smithfield Farm – which, after all, is still in only its second year of operation.

The Choisir x Lanadee colt sold to Rosemont Stud for $235,000


This is the 100th day of the year – 265 more to go – and also remembered on this day is William of Ockham, and English philosopher from the 12th century who is best remembered for Occam’s razor: “the conclusion that the simplest solution is usually the correct one”.

  • 879 – King Louis the Stammerer d-d-d-d-dies
  • 1710 – The first law regulating copyright is issued in Great Britain
  • 1912 – The Titanic leaves port in Southampton, England for her first and only voyage. Four days later, Leonardo di Caprio would freeze to death when the boat sank, but Kate Winslet fortunately survived
  • 1919 – Mexican Revolution leader Emiliano Zapata is ambushed and shot dead by government forces in Morelos. Ninety one years later, the Zapata moustache is still popular in some suburbs and followers of the Village People
  • 1953 – Warner Brothers premieres the first 3D film, entitled House of Wax and starring Vincent Price
  • 1998 – Northern Ireland Peace Agreement is signed.
  • 2000 – Larry ‘Frank Burns’ Linville passes away


Jim Bowie (1796), Union General and Ben Hur author Lew Wallace (1827), Omar Sharif (1932), Steven Seagal (1951)


Frank Burns: Why does everyone take an instant dislike to me?

Trapper John: It saves time, Frank.


April is only a tad over a week old but Delago Brom is making every post a winner with a double on the third – including a Group Two to Ecstatic Macau – a winner on the fifth, Verdasco on the eighth and yesterday (9 April) he weighed in again with Brombed Out over 1112m at Geelong.
Brombed Out, a 3YO from the Kingston Mill mare Bold Reef, was bred by Alistair and Patti McFarlane’s Tori Park Stud and was having his first start at Geelong.
An encouraging result for Robert Smerdon who snapped him up for $30,000 at the 2008 Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale and clearly Brombed Out has his share of ability.

Friday, April 9, 2010


Bendigo trainer, Sean Mott, might not have a huge team to play with, but does plenty with what he’s got.
With only 11 starters since Christmas, eight have returned a cheque : two of them winners. The latest to salute is the Delago Brom 3YO, Verdasco, who scored a gutsy victory on his home track on Thursday (8 April) – his second career win from six starts.
And while that kind of strike rate might not be worth writing home to mum about, it’s worth keeping in mind that Verdasco had run third at Moonee Valley at his previous outing and only has only been out of the money once.
Purchased from the 2008 Inglis Melbourne Premier, Verdasco was bred by Jim Schembri and is out of the Canonise mare, Make The Grade.
A multiple winner, Make The Grade is the dam of four winners – including Melbourne stakes placed Ashtaroth and city winner Molexio – and is a half sister to stakes horse, Oceanfast, dam of brilliant Encosta de Lago filly Alinghi.
At the 2010 Inglis Melbourne Premier, Sean’s wife Deanna snapped up a Canny Lad colt from Born Western for $80,000 – one of the picks of the Eliza Park draft – and you can safely expect to see more of the Motts in the near future.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


You wouldn’t miss Pat Fuoco in a crowd - and certainly not today (7 April) when his God’s Own colt from the Bellotto mare Truly (pictured below) fetched $310,000 to the bid of leading bloodstock agent, James Bester on the second day of the Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale.
An excited Pat was on hand to see Bester and Victorian trainer, Robert Smerdon, fight it out before Sir James eventually got the nod.
Bester is clearly one of the astute judges in the business and was prepared to fork out the highest price for a God’s Own thus far.
(The previous topper was Think Big Stud’s first crop colt which was sold to Shadwell Australia at last year’s Australian Easter Yearling Sale for $300,000).
The God’s Own colt from Truly was foaled down at Yallambee Stud, prior to mare and foal heading north to Arrowfield Stud where Truly was covered by Redoute’s Choice, subsequently producing a three quarter brother to the God’s Own colt.
Pat is also the breeder of Truly’s Testa Rossa filly, Vormista, a Group Two winner at Flemington and 3-times Group One runnerup: finishing second to Apache Cat in the BTC Cup and Australia Stakes, plus giving Gold Edition a run for her money in the Manikato.
The only other God’s Own entry for the 2010 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale – a colt from Dehere mare Harrow (Lot 464) – will be sold in the final session tomorrow.

Sire Watch

Two God’s Own colts are stepping out for the first time in the Freeway’s Great Steaks Plate over 1250m at Canterbury tomorrow.
Beat – bred by Robert Crabtree and trained by Anthony Cummings – was scratched from Monday’s Canterbury meeting and is clearly an exciting prospect, being out the Kenmare mare Zasu Rhythm, and a half brother to the Melbourne Group winner and Group One runnerup Any Rhythm.
And, giving the Redoute’s Choice Caulfield Guineas winner a second iron in the fire, is the Gerald Ryan trained first starter Elegant Triumph.
Bred and sold by Matt Brown’s Monterey Stud, Elegant Triumph is out of the Sir Laurence mare, Oubladee, a winning half sister to Group winning 2YO, Zeya and the dam of city winners Spectrum Blitz and Cenotaph.
Could be a very big result!

Eliza Park stands God’s Own in conjunction with Yallambee Stud.


  • 30 – Allegedly the date of the flagellation and crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth
  • 1739 – English highwayman, Dick Turpin, is hanged
  • 1795 – France adopts the metric system
  • 1827 – John Walker sells the first match (not to be confused with the Whiskey Walker)
  • 1891 – Circus impresario, PT Barnum dies
  • 1906 – Mount Vesuvius erupts, killing over 100 people
  • 1933 – Prohibition is repealed in the USA
  • 1939 – Australian Prime Minister Joseph Lyons dies (the first PM to die in office and six years prior to John Curtin)
  • 1947 – Automobile manufacturer, Henry Ford, departs for that great car yard in the sky
  • 1969 – Dual F1 world champion, Jim Clark, is killed in a crash in Germany
  • 2003 – US troops capture Baghdad (Saddam Hussein’s regime falls two days later)


William Keith ‘Corn Flakes’ Kellogg (1860), black singer Billie Holiday (1915), Andrew ‘Manuel’ Sachs from Fawlty Towers (1930), Wayne ‘Trapper John’ Rogers (1933), Sir David Frost (1939), Jackie Chan (1947), Russell Crowe (1964), Duncan Armstrong (1968).


“There’s a sucker born every minute”
- PT Barnum

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it”

“Whether you think that you can, or that you can’t, you are usually right”
- Henry Ford

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Bruce James and Jeff Foden are both terrific supporters of Eliza Park and the Victorian breeding industry.
So, it was great to see their homebred Delago Brom mare, Stella Delago, lob for them at Moonee Valley on Monday (5 April), winning the Legends After The Last Handicap over 1200m.
It was the third win for the gutsy mare and her trainer Lyn Tolson, but the first in town.
Based on the performance, it won’t be her last.
Out of the Demus mare, Stella Brillante, Stella Delago’s family is a little light on black type but they’re all winners.
Stella Brillante (who visited Delago Brom for the third time last spring), is the dam of two winners from two to race, Stella Brillante won four races for her dam Speedbird, and the third dam – Skim – produced eight to race, all of them winners, including Sydney campaigners Picco (19 wins) and Fear None (10 wins).

Call us a little biased (OK, call us a lot biased), but Delago Brom (below) is one of the most underrated stallions in the country.
A son of Encosta de Lago, Delago Brom rarely gets a mention but has produced some 90 winners … 39 this season … snared a Group Two victory in Macau the other night (Ecstatic Macau) … won a stakes race with his 2YO Radha Rani in January … finished runnerup in the Hobart Cup-G3 with De Fine Lago … grabbed a black type third on the same day with Danaupair Starlet … and popped up with a cracking fourth from Delago Bolt in the Royal Sovereign Stakes-G2 at Randwick.


Horses for courses. How often do you hear that saying these days? Too many times? Probably, but usually the inference is metaphoric and rarely employed in the true sense.
True Persuasion is the horse for the Moonee Valley course. The Bel Esprit colt has now raced at the Valley on five occasions for four wins and a lip second (coincidentally, the second was to another Bel Esprit in Tollesprit).
True Persuasion (below) was at it again on Monday (5 April), taking out the $50,000 Bingham Freight Systems Handicap over 1200m.
Despite racing three wide for much of the journey, True Persuasion proved much too good in the run home to score by a panel.
Trained by Mick Price and owned/bred by Marianne Smart, True Persuasion has now won $273,613 in stakes from his 10 starts which also include four placings and has yet to finish more than four lengths from the winner.
He’s still got a fair way to go before reaching Dandy Kid’s record of 15 wins at Moonee Valley but the way this bloke ‘corners’, you wouldn’t best against it. He’s very persuasive!

Photo courtesy of Slickpix


Compiling a couple of wins from her eight outings for Barrie and Midge Griffiths, Bel Esprit mare, Strudel, was offered up for auction at last November’s Inglis Australian Racehorse Sale, eventually fetching $16,000 for West Australian bloodstock agent Malcolm Ayoub.
Malcolm’s purchase was justified on Monday (5 April) when Strudel – now racing for Paula Wragg’s stable – proved too nippy over 1000m at Pinjarra, notching up her third career victory.
Strudel is certainly well named – a full sister to winner Apple Esprit – she’s out of 5-time stakes winner Apple Danish.

Monday, April 5, 2010


In 1932, Australasia’s greatest ever racehorse – Phar Lap – died in California from suspected arsenic poisoning. Phar Lap (above) would win 37 races – including the 1930 Melbourne Cup and the hearts of every depression-era punter. After 78 years of supposition, did the Yanks kill him? We think so!
  • 1904 – The first international Rugby League test is played in Wigan, England
  • 1955 – Winston Churchill resigns as Prime Minister of Britain at the age of 80 (he had been in politics for 55 years and would remain on the backbench until 1964 before dying on 24 January 1965 at the age of 90)
  • 1964 – General Douglas ‘I shall return’ MacArthur dies
  • 1976 – Billionaire and playboy, Howard Hughes dies at the age of 70 due to kidney failure (helped along with large amounts of codeine and Valium). Due to years of neglect, Hughes’ body was almost unrecognisable and the FBI had to take fingerprints to identify it
  • 2008 – Charlton ‘Ben Hur’ Heston slips from this mortal coil


Spencer Tracy (1900), Film Producer Cubby ‘James Bond’ Broccoli (1909), Gregory Peck (1916)


“I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat”

“A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject”

“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on”

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

- Winston Churchill


Interesting statistics released by ANZ Bloodstock News on the eve of the 2010 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale.
These stats relate to the stallions with progeny entered for Easter and, in terms of median figure increases from 2009 sales to 2010 (to date), Bel Esprit has weighed in third with a massive 117% upswing – i.e. $23,000 to $56,900.
What’s more, for the 50 yearlings sold thus far this year ($56,900 ave) there is a 71% average differential from 2009.


Don Byrne’s Eldon Park Stud has bred a number of winners over the years and added to the trophy cabinet with another win to homebred Statue of Liberty 4YO, Statue of Glory, at Penola on Sunday (4 April).
Notching up his third win, Statue of Glory tends to mix his form a bit for trainer/owner Don Irlam, but on his day he can certainly rattle a cage.
All up, Statue of Glory has raced 20 times, finishing in the top three on 10 of those occasions, including a second at Morphettville.
Statue of Glory – from the Rory’s Jester mare, Rory’s Glory – is a half brother to three other winners including Testa Rossa’s first stakes winner Rossa Glory (VRC Maribyrnong Trial-LR). He is also closely related to SA stakes winner and VRC Derby placegetter Raising Kentucky.


Danbird 3YO, Zofabird, appears to have come into her own of late, notching up a thrilling win over 1100m at Penola on Sunday (4 April) after an encouraging second at her previous outing.
Formerly trained by Ricky Maund, a change of stable now sees the filly in the capable hands of Emma Hubbard.
Out of the Zoffany mare – Zofagal – and bred on similar lines to stakes performer Tom Tom Cat, Zofabird is closely related to Sydney Group Two winner Merry Ruler.


Delago Brom notched up his fourth stakes winner on Saturday (3 April) in the Director’s Cup-G2 at Taipa with the rather appropriately named Ecstatic Macau (below).
The ultra-consistent performer raced in Australia as Classic Brom, actually becoming Delago Brom’s first black type horse with a second on debut in the Blue Diamond Preview-LR.
Moving to Macau in July 2008, the newly minted Ecstatic Macau has since raced on 24 occasions for seven wins and eight placings, mostly in top company.
At his first start in Macau, Ecstatic Macau ran third in the Lisboa Challenge-G3, along with further placings in the Macau Derby-G1, Summer Trophy-G3 and Autumn Trophy-G3.
The Director’s Cup-G2 win on Saturday was his second on the trot.
Bred by Otto Hoffelner (who also raced Delago Brom), Ecstatic Macau is out of the Brief Truce mare, A Class Act.

Ecstatic Macau wasn’t the only Delago Brom winner on Saturday with the Gerald Egan trained Goadel scoring over 2050m at Wodonga.
Bred by John Cassin, Goadel is out of the Hula Town mare Our Charisse and hails from a family of North American Group One winners.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


  • 1581 – Francis Drake is knighted for circumnavigating the world
  • 1841 – US President William Henry Harrison dies after 32 days in office: from a cold
  • 1949 – NATO is formed
  • 1957 – Kelso, ranked the 4th best racehorse of the 20th century behind Man o’War, Secretariat and Citation.
  • 1964 – The Beatles occupy the top five positions on the Billboard Hot 100
  • 1968 – Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jnr is assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee
  • 1975 – Microsoft is founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen
  • 1979 – Deposed Pakistani Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto is hanged (his daughter, Benazir Bhutto was twice PM of Pakistan and was assassinated in 2007). And they reckon Aussie politics are tough!


Dance teacher Arthur Murray (1895), Australian photographer Max Dupain (1911), Muddy Waters (1915), Anthony ‘Psycho’ Perkins (1932), Hugo Weaving (1960), Heath Ledger (1979)

The next time Easter Sunday falls on 4 April will be 2021.


“I have a dream”
- Martin Luther King

“I am here today because of one horse and one horse only. Although I’ve had a few stakes horses before, they didn't compare with Kelso. There is an old saying on the racetrack that ‘a good horse is dangerous in anybody’s hands.’ How true that is. Of all the top trainers in the past that have had this honor, I may be a little bit prejudiced, but I don’t think any one of them had their hands on a horse like Kelso.”
- Hall of Fame trainer Carl Hanford


Don’t know if his handlers have given him any Easter eggs, but Bel Esprit definitely got the chocolates on Saturday (3 April) with smart 2YO The Pupster becoming his 13th stakes horse following a third in the Perth Stakes-LR at Ascot, Beltrois ran on soundly for third in the $70,000 Bert Bryant Handicap at Caulfield while My Tinkerbel claimed first with a five length romp at Toowoomba.
(By the by, Ascot to Toowoomba is 4,225km, while Ascot to Caulfield is 3,420km)
The Pupster was bred by Mick and Lou Maroulis, who sold the 2YO through Eliza Park’s 2009 Gold Coast Magic Millions draft.
Raced by Peter Morley’s Belhus Racing (who also purchased a Fusaichi Pegasus yearling from Eliza Park’s 2010 Melbourne Premier draft), The Pupster has now started on five occasions for a stakes third and a second at Ascot. In fact, the exciting youngster has yet to finish out of the money.
Out of the Maroulis’ New Regent mare, Moving Shadows, The Pupster is a half brother to four winners including Flemington stakes winner Fiveoclockshadow and Caulfield winner Delago Blitz.
It was hardly surprising that The Pupster was snapped up by WA interests given that he’s also closely related to dual Perth Group One winner Island Morn.
Mick and Lou will sell a Haradasun filly through Eliza Park’s Gold Coast Magic Millions National Weanling draft in June.
My Tinkerbel was also in commanding form with her display over 1050m at Toowoomba.
Trained by Ray Hawkswell, My Tinkerbell was fresh from a short letup and was recording her second win for Romi Karam.
Out of the Centaine mare, Boondock, My Tinkerbel hails from the famous Corn family (Maizcay, County, Catbird, Danbird, Pillar of Hercules etc.) and is a shining example of pin hooking: sold for $10,000 as a weanling before being sold to Romi for $175,000 at the Gold Coast National Yearling Sale.


Slade Bloodstock’s nippy Bel Esprit 4YO, Waltzes, recorded his fourth win from six starts at Terang on Saturday (3 April), scooting home to score by over four lengths.
Off the scene for 25 weeks, the Jarrod McLean flyer is clearly a sprinter of note and a city start would appear to beckon.
Second on debut and an inexplicable ninth before being tipped out for a spell, Waltzes has won his other four starts by a combined total of 13.6 lengths.
Out of the Picnicker mare, Dance the Music (a half sister to multiple Group Two winner Magic Music, dam of Group Two winner Magically), Waltzes was sold by Eliza Park at the 2007 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


Courageous performance by God’s Own 2YO, Captain Oates, to take out the Macaulay Ford Handicap over 1100m at Riverton on Saturday (3 April).
Trailing the leader into the straight, Zman Zulkifli (great name!) urged the flashy bay to the lead and then held off all comers over the final stages.
Trained by Sally and Ben Gordon, Captain Oates was sold at last year’s New Zealand Horses in Training Sale.
Captain Oates is a half brother to four winners, including Sydney sprinters Resplendent Bay and Second Choice, and is out of the Clay Hero mare, Silently Yours, a 7-time winner of $284,721.
In turn, Silently Yours is a half sister New Zealand Derby-G1 winner St Reims, plus the LKS Mackinnon Stakes-G1 winner and Melbourne Cup-G1 runnerup Champagne.
An outstanding family, Captain Oates is also closely related to 2009 Yallambee Classic-G2 winner Champagne Harmony. Eliza Park stands God’s Own (below) in conjunction with Yallambee Stud.
The second crop of God’s Owns have sold well on both sides of the Tasman with $100k yearlings sold on the Gold Coast and at Karaka, while Eliza Park sold a cracking God’s Own colt to Amanda Skiffington for $95,000 at the Melbourne Premier.

Captain Oates is named after Lawrence Edward Grace Oates, a member of the ill-fated South Pole expedition team led by Captain Robert Scott.
A cavalryman and natural horseman, Oates was left with a gammy leg after being shot in the Boer War and it was his job to look after the ponies in the bid to reach the South Pole.
As the story goes, Oates was dark brown with Scott for much of the trip due to his selection of horses (“greatest load of crocks I have ever seen”), but earned the respect of the tour leader when, with food short among the surviving four members of the team, he walked out into a minus 40 degree blizzard.
Leaving the tent, Oates announced: “I am just going outside and may be some time.”
No-one thought he was ducking down to the local milk bar and his action remains one of history’s most courageous acts of sacrifice. Not that it did the others much good, given that they perished nine days later.


Congratulations to the Moodie family on winning the 2010 AAMI Golden Slipper with their filly Crystal Lily.
David (left) and Jenny have both been outstanding supporters of the Victorian thoroughbred industry with their breeding and racing enterprises contributing a great deal to the local economy as investors and employees.

Not surprisingly, the victory was emotion charged as this was clearly their biggest ‘pay-day’: due recognition for decades of persistence.
It was a kind of pay-day for all breeding enthusiasts, as a matter of fact given that if ever a horse should win a Golden Slipper, it’s Crystal Lily.
First of all, she has a double cross of Vain, winner of the 1969 chapter and possibly the greatest Golden Slipper winner of all time, her sire Stratum won the 2005 Slipper and is out of a Luskin Star (1977 winner) mare.
Meanwhile, Stratum’s sire – Redoute’s Choice was sensationally scratched when hot favourite on the morning of the 1999 Slipper and would have become one of six winners of the race by legendary sire Danehill.
Redoute’s Choice is out of Shantha’s Choice, a daughter of Canny Lad (1990 Slipper).
Crystal Lily’s damsire – Snippets – could only managed fifth in the Slipper, but would subsequently win the AJC Sires’ Produce, Galaxy and Oakleigh Plate, while Crystal Lily’s mum – Crystal Snip – is out of a Century mare, who didn’t make the trip to Sydney after winning the Blue Diamond, but would produce 1979 Golden Slipper winner Century Miss.

For a great read on the Moodie quest to win a Slipper - written in light of their decision to knock back a $2 million offer for Crystal Lily - earlier in the week, click here.

Interesting to note that Magnus is bred on similar lines to Crystal Lily, being a grandson of Danehill, out of a Snippets mare, with Vain up close.


John and Rosemary Cotter are lovely folk and both are riding on a high of late with their Choisir colt from Lanadee selling for $235,000 at the 2010 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.
On their behalf, Eliza Park also sold a Kempinsky colt from their stakes winning mare, Permai, to Robbie Griffiths at the 2008 Gold Coast Magic Millions for $130,000.
Permai was an astute purchase for the Cotters given that they snapped her up for $70,000 at the 2005 Inglis June Thoroughbred Sale and only a short time prior to her filly Permaiscuous’ thrilling run of six victories, including the Carbine Club Stakes-G3 at Flemington on Derby Day.
And Robbie Griffiths, who has had a considerable deal of success with Eliza Park sale graduates, was pretty pleased too when Kempinsky came out at Moonee Valley last Thursday night (1 April) and absolutely brained ‘em, winning the Hamper World Handicap over 1000m by a whopping six lengths.
The Cotters, who retained a share in Perminsky, could not have fared better in the ‘timing’ stakes given that their Choisir filly from Permai will enter the ring as Lot 94 at the Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale on Tuesday (6 April).
Good luck John and Rosemary.

Friday, April 2, 2010


  • 1982 – Argentina invades Falklands Islands
  • 1986 – Bomb tears hole in airliner over Greece, killing four people
  • 1998 – Former French Cabinet Minister, Maurice Papon, is convicted of deporting Jews during World War II – he was 88 years old. Serving four years in jail, he died in 2007
  • 2005 – Pope John Paul II dies
In 1977, Red Rum won the Grand National for the third time, having run second in 1975-76 after winning in 1973-74.
The GN superstar was entered for the 1978 running but was ruled out with a heel injury shortly before the jump.
Red Rum (below) was put down in 1995 and buried near the winning post at Aintree racecourse.

Some other Grand National facts and figures:
  • Race was first held in 1839
  • Becher’s Brook is named after Captain Becher who fell into the brook during the first running
  • Similar to Red Rum, Manifesto won in 1897 and 1899 and was in the first three on six occasions
  • Only two horses completed the course in 1928
  • The race was abandoned in 1993 after a series of starting errors
  • In 1904, New Zealand neddy, Moifaa, won the Grand National after allegedly being shipwrecked off the Irish Coast – story goes that Moifaa swam 25 miles to safety and was found days later. Good tale and far be it for I to let the facts get in the way of a story, it was actually a horse called Kiora who was shipwrecked – and who swam an impressive ‘two miles’ to find landfall – and would subsequently compete in the Grand National without winning. Still, Moifaa was sold to King Edward VII after winning the Grand National and, despite never winning another race, was a favourite of the monarch’s and actually led Ed’s funeral cortege in 1910.


US President Thomas Jefferson (1743), Hans Christian Andersen (1805), Buddy ‘Jed Clampett’ Ebsen (1908), Sir Alec ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ Guinness (1914), 3-time World Champion Formula One driver Sir Jack Brabham (1926) and test cricketer Michael Clarke (1981).

“The Force will be with you, always”

“Who is more foolish? The fool, or the fool that follows it?”

- Sir Alec Guinness