In a comprehensive feature on Champion Sire, Flying Spur, industry pundit Brian Russell, pays plenty of lip service to Eliza Park stallion MAGNUS, whose first yearlings appear at major 2011 sales.
Following is an extract from Brian Russell’s treatise:
Two offspring of Flying Spur who have performed well in high level sprints in England have been the Australian bred, owned and trained Magnus, third in 2007 at the Royal Ascot meeting in the King’s Stand Stakes-G2 and the mare Alverta, the third placegetter in 2010 in what is arguably England’s leading sprint, the Newmarket July Cup.
Magnus shares with Casino Prince the distinction of being the best male racehorse by Flying Spur available to establish the dynasty as a big force. Both have been provided with very good opportunity with their first books and both are likely to have good representation at 2011 yearling sales, starting with the Magic Millions at the Gold Coast in January. It will not be surprising if both have contenders in 2012 renewals of the Golden Slipper and Blue Diamond Stakes.
Magnus is another leading sprinter from Australia to beat some of the best of Europe on a visit to England. In 2007 he finished third – a neck off second – at Royal Ascot in the 20-runner Kings Stand Stakes (then Group 2 but now Group 1) won by Miss Andretti and in which Takeover Target was fourth.
The Magnus effort came fresh from a big autumn in Australia, a campaign that included a win in the Galaxy-G1 at Warwick Farm, a second in the VRC Lightning Stakes-G1, a third in the MRC Oakleigh Plate-G1 and fourth in the VRC Newmarket-G1. He lost by only a fraction over a half length in the Oakleigh Plate and the Newmarket, a race which produced a spectacular finish, Miss Andretti setting new track record time in beating runner up Gold Edition by a head.
A year later Magnus backed up in the autumn and consolidated his eminence as a leading sprinter with seconds behind Horse of the Year Weekend Hussler in the MRC Oakleigh Plate and VRC Newmarket (margins 0.8 lengths and 2.3 lengths) and fourths in the AJC Galaxy and T.J. Smith Stakes-G1. A visit to Singapore resulted in a half length second to Takeover Target in the International Sprint-Gr1.
The attraction of Magnus has been boosted by the sensational sprinting performances of his close relation Black Caviar, a four-year-old mare who was unbeaten in her eight starts to early November. She is by another Eliza Park sire in Bel Esprit (Royal Academy (USA) – Bespoken, by Vain) and from the Desert Sun (GB) mare Helsinge, a half-sister to Magnus, both being from the brilliantly bred and performed Scandinavia (Snippets – Song of Norway, by Vain).
Scandinavia won four races, including the QTC Cup-G2 (1200m) and MRC Blue Diamond Preview-G3, finished second in the VRC Victoria Racing Club Stakes-G1 and SAJC Goodwood Handicap-G1 and third in the VRC Lightning Stakes-G1 and Newmarket Handicap-G1 (won by General Nediym).
The high horse tech management at Eliza Park are excited about the prospects of Magnus (below) as a sire. His first crop yearlings include progeny of mares by Encosta de Lago, Danehill (USA), Rory’s Jester, Grand Lodge (USA), Fantastic Light (USA), Anabaa (USA), Snippets, Dehere (USA), Kenmare (FR), At Talaq (USA), Octagonal, General Nediym, Zabeel, Real Quiet (USA), Sir Tristram (IRE), Scenic (IRE), Redoute’s Choice, Royal Academy (USA), Giant’s Causeway (USA), Marauding (USA), Yeats (USA), Danzero, Hennessy (USA), Star Way (GB), Thunder Gulch (USA) and Yeats (USA).