Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Now you wouldn’t expect a horse called Darwin to run well in the wet, but Mark Jackson’s Bel Esprit 4YO had no problems with the moisture at Seymour yesterday (24 May), scoring over 1600m in the Luxbet Owners-Trainers 12% ClubXtra Bonus 0-68 Handicap (now there’s a mouthful!).
As it turns out though, Darwin is a nob in the wet having now taken out his three victories (from nine career starts) on rain affected surfaces: twice – including yesterday’s – on a slow 7 and once on a dead track.
Coming from barrier seven, the 4YO Darwin fought back strongly after being headed and got up by the slimmest of margins. Well done to Nick Souquet who has also been on board Beau Esprit and Bel Shoes for wins in the wet.
Bred by Dr Michael Rose, Darwin is out of the Sound Reason mare, Lady Acumen, dam of six winners including Adelaide Cup-G1 winner The A Train and the Group placed pair Instantly and Lady Atire.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Mick Huxtable may well have a first grader on his hands with the promising Condelago.
The Delago Brom 2YO was having his third start yesterday (22 May) at Morphettville and was again very impressive in taking out the Allan Scott Park Handicap over 1200m – his second win on the trot.
Bred in South Australia by the Mittigas and Blythmans, Condelago was sold through Eliza Park’s Melbourne Premier draft for $50,000.
Out of the Kenny’s Best Pal mare, Concluding, Condelago is a half brother to 4-time stakes winner Moment In Time and Clangalang’s city winner Quid Pro Quo and is closely related to Sandown Cup-G2 winner Conbituate Lady.


Eliza Park’s Mark Lindsay was interviewed on Sport 927 this morning in relation to exciting new arrival, Sharkbite.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


The outstandingly bred Redoute’s Choice stallion, Sharkbite, has been well received since the announcement of his arrival at Eliza Park.
Despite his relatively late retirement to stud last season – to NSW’s Byerley Stud – Sharkbite covered a quality book of 70 mares and, while it’s early days yet, that number looks like being surpassed in 2010.
But it’s more about quality than quantity and mares booked already to Sharkbite in 2010 include:

  • MISS KEATON (Rubiton x Mrs Soffel): Full sister to outstanding Group One sprinter Rubitano (11 wins, $1.2 million inc. VRC Newmarket Handicap-G1, Salinger Stakes-G1). Also sister to stakes winner Rubitoff.
  • POMERANZ (Danasinga x Benazir): Half-sister of Kiwi Group One winner Critic, from the family of Golden Slipper winner Courtza and her Group One winning, Champion Sire O’Reilly.
  • RAZZIA (Scenic x Biscay Bird): Full sister to Champion 3YO and 4-time Group One winner Universal Prince and Group One winning filly Universal Queen.
  • SEE THE ANGELS (Falvelon x Angelic Belle): Metropolitan winning half-sister to Group Three winner Here de Angels.
  • THOUSAND VEILS (Zabeel x Forever Dancing): Stakes winner of the SAJC St Leger Stakes-LR, from the family of US Group One winners Golf Fever and Bellamy Road.
  • TRIPLED (General Nediym x Myrrh): Half-sister to Group One winner, Triple Honour (below).


Well done to Team Moroney which captured today’s The Roses-G3 at Doomben with game filly Marheta.
As with many of Mike Moroney’s horses, Marheta was broken in at Eliza Park by Darren Mackereth, who proudly points out that three of the fillies in the Roses – including Patrick Payne’s Danaupair Starlet (Delago Brom) and Shane Nichols’ Mistaken Grace (Clangalang) – were all broken in at Eliza Park.


It was girls day out at Mt Gambier on Thursday (20 May) … well, at least for Eliza Park.
Darryl Dodson’s 4YO Delago Brom mare, Tam, got the bikkies in the Scott’s Transport Maiden Plate (1200m), while Delago Brom was also responsible for third placegetter: the 3YO filly Big Miss Brom (from the Bigstone mare, Big Amy).
Tam is out of the well named Noalcoholic mare, Teatotally, and was bred and is owned by South Australian RD Pfitzner.
(Great English family … do yourself a favour and google Lionel Holliday, owner of Tam’s fifth dam Phase)
The interesting thing about the Scott’s Transport Maiden however, is that Tam was ridden by Holly McKechnie and Big Miss Brom was steered by Amy Herrmann.
The only other female jockey competing in the race was Christine Puls, who rode Single Entity – a Jetball mare conceived during the stallion’s time at Eliza Park.

Friday, May 21, 2010


Although two months of the season remain, Bel Esprit is well and truly poised to capture his third successive Victorian Sires’ premiership.
Brian Donohoe, who raced Eliza Park’s ‘headliner’ and authors the popular Bel Esprit Winners’ Club blog, has compiled some interesting statistics which reveal that Bel Esprit’s first crop – now 5YOs – are now hovering around the 75% winners to runners mark … a truly remarkable achievement.
More so, he appears to ‘nick’ with a wide range of broodmare sires as the accompanying chart reveals.


One of Victoria’s emerging trainers is Mornington mentor, Jason Petch (below), who boldly stepped up to the plate yesterday (20 May), securing a Spectrum mare, Spectrum’s Image, for $85,000.
Jason’s interest was hardly surprising, given that he trains Spectrum’s Image’s 3YO filly, Hooness, who won the Redelva Stakes-LR in Adelaide for him in February.
However, an added attraction was the fact Spectrum’s Image is in foal to Bel Esprit who would go on to top the sale average for in foal mares.
It was some day for Victoria’s Champion Sire, recording a double with Spirited Hero at Bendigo and across the pond with Polar Esprit at Wingatui.

PS. There was quite a bit of value added to Petch’s purchase on Saturday (22 May) when Tromso won his second race at Rosehill on the trot. Tromso is out of Queensland stakes winner Feelers, a half sister to Spectrum’s Image.


The win of Spirited Hero at Bendigo yesterday (20 May), in the rather appropriately named Bushranger @ Eliza Park Country Showcase (1000m), was victory No. 350 for Bel Esprit progeny.
A highly promising 3YO in the hands of Colin and Cindy Alderson, Spirited Hero has now won two of his four outings and, according to jockey Danny Brereton, should be very competitive at black type level.
Former Eliza Park manager, Brent Grayling, who bred and part owns Spirited Hero, concurred with the jockey’s view, saying that his 3YO (from the True Hero mare, Snow Hero) would race at Moonee Valley on 29 May before taking on the AR Creswick Stakes-LR at Flemington on 12 June.
At Bendigo, Spirited Hero got away slowly, but Brereton soon pozzied the 3YO near the front half of the field, only to slip past the leaders in the straight and win convincingly.
Meanwhile, the race was named in honour of 2010 addition to Eliza Park’s stallion roster, the Champion 2YO of England and France, Bushranger.


Polar Esprit launched a two country double for his sire, Bel Esprit, yesterday (20 May) by taking out the Dunedin City Motors Handicap at Wingatui in New Zealand.
Yet another winner bred by David and Jenny Moodie’s Contract Racing (also breeder/owner of 2010 Golden Slipper winner Crystal Lily), Polar Esprit was sold as a weanling for $10,000 and, remarkably, ‘pin hooked’ a month later, selling to New Zealand interests for $30,000.
A flashy 2YO raced by the Te Akau Polar Esprit Syndicate and trained by Mark Walker, Polar Esprit has now raced on five occasions for a second at Riccarton and a very tidy fifth in the Selwyn River Stud Champagne Stakes-LR at his most recent outing.
Cleverly bred, Polar Esprit is out of the Hurricane Sky mare, Polar Sky, a half sister to Contract Racing’s Caulfield Cup winner Arctic Scent.
The Hurricane Sky factor also sees Polar Esprit being linebred to Nijinsky through a son and a daughter and through Wilkes via a son and daughter.


Racing focus shifts to Brisbane on Saturday for the Doomben Cup meeting and, with it, a number of black type chances for Eliza Park stallions, including Delago Brom (Danaupair Starlet, The Roses-G3) and Clangalang (Mistaken Grace, The Roses-G3).
One that could cap off a big week for Statue of Liberty however, is the very impressive 2YO, Broadway Harmony (below), who takes on the Group Two Champagne Classic and, at this stage, is rated a $7.50 shot.
The Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock syndicated, Broadway Harmony, comes fresh from a win in the Dequetteville Stakes-LR at Morphettville on 2 May and won a trial at Doomben on Tuesday.
The Statue of Liberty juveniles are really starting to emerge from the pack and he came close to adding another winner to his portfolio on Wednesday when the Gai Waterhouse trained Someday Somehow was beaten a whisker on a heavy Canterbury surface.
This is another filly with her fair share of ability, leaving the third horse some six lengths in the wake.
Someday Somehow is out of the Foxhound mare, Mi Piachi and boasts some interesting breeding given that Foxhound is a half brother to Statue of Liberty’s dam, Charming Lassie.
The rather cleverly named, Applebottom (by Statue of Liberty out of Fasliyev mare Sundare!) squared the ledger however with a fighting win over 900m at Mt Gambier yesterday (20 May).
Trained by Peter Stennett, Applebottom was having only her third outing at Mt Gambier and she hails from the family of Golden Slipper/Oaks winner Bounding Away.


Magnus is used to making a splash. The pre-eminent sprinting entire of his day, Magnus competed at the highest level throughout his career, notching up victories in the Galaxy and Age Classic (now Group One) and competing with distinction in Australia, the UK and Singapore.
Not surprisingly, when the bred-in-the-purple son of Flying Spur was retired to stud in 2008 he attracted a quality book of mares: the results of which first went on display at this week’s Great Southern Weanling Sale at Oaklands Junction.
Nine of his weanlings were offered at the Great Southern and, selling up to $55,000, Magnus came away with the leading average for a first season sire.
Leading the way was the filly from Rory’s Jester mare Tendency, a half sister to Bel Esprit winner Belle Society, who was knocked down to Bulla Thoroughbreds for $55,000, while in the first hour of the sale, Belmont Bloodstock Agency snapped up another lovely Magnus filly – this one a half sister to Adelaide Cup winner Lacey Underall from the Bluebird mare, Flirted – for $42,500.
Now it’s on to the Gold Coast where three Magnus weanlings will be offered at the National Series, including a filly from the Soviet Star mare, Luvya Babe, a winning half sister to Champion mare Ballroom Babe.
On offer from Eliza Park, the filly will enter the ring as Lot 23.


Some interesting stats from Cyberhorse when previewing tomorrow’s $505,000 Doomben Cup-G1.
Under the header of ‘Avoid the Girls’ (as if that doesn’t go without saying!), Cyberhorse goes on to reveal the poor record of fillies and mares in Brisbane’s weight for ager.
Cyberhorse takes up the story:
When betting on Saturday’s Group One $500,000 Kirks Doomben Cup (2020m), it may be worth your while considering the following historical precedents. 
First run in 1933, the honour roll of the Doomben Cup includes some of the greatest horses to have ever raced in Australia.
Previous winners include Bernborough, Might and Power, Durbridge, Samson, River Seine and Dandy Andy, while shortly after the Doomben Cup became a weight-for-age race, Rough Habit won the event three years in a row from 1991 to 1993.
One telling statistic you notice straight away is that mares have a terrible record in the Doomben Cup. 
Prior to the Peter Moody-trained Cinque Cento winning in 2007, the last mare to win the Doomben Cup was Dream in 1950.
Only four mares have won the race since its inception. This imposing statistic holds more relevance this year with five mares making up the Doomben Cup 13-horse field.
History does endorse the chances of a couple of horses, mainly Metal Bender and Road To Rock.
Metal Bender will be looking to become the first horse since Above Deck in 2006 to win the Hollindale / Doomben Cup double in the same season.
That double has been achieved eight times in the last 20 years.
Road To Rock, who is set to be sent to stud immediately after Saturday’s race, won the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick last start. Connections of the galloper will be hoping to replicate the deeds of Sarrera two years ago who completed the same double.
For those who fancy the chances of Sir Time Keeper, three-year-olds have won two of the last 20 Doomben Cups.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Despite a boilover in the Group One KrisFlyer International in Singapore with the Tyreel Stud bred, Rocket Man, missing out by a smidge to Green Birdie, it was a fairly good couple of days for Aussies – particularly Eliza Park ‘graduates’.
The Cliff Brown trained Thrilla in Manila got the ball rolling on the Friday night (14 May) with his emphatic three panel win in the second at Kranji – his second win and second placing from 10 starts since arriving in Singapore in August 2008.
Originally named Gamblin’ Man, Thrilla in Manila is by Shovhog out of Endama and was purchased by Eliza Park (on behalf of Asian clients) from the 2007 Magic Millions Horses in Training Sale.
(By the by, the original ‘Thrilla in Manila’ – the third stoush between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier (below) – was held in the Philippines on 1 October 1975 … where did those 35 years go? Meanwhile, at the age of 88, Bill ‘Gambling Man’ Waterhouse announced his retirement from bookmaking this week).
Eliza Park would snare a double on the KrisFlyer card two days later (16 May) with firstly, Tien Chai and then Risky Business saluting at Kranji.
Tien Chai – by Val Royal from Misnik – is an ideal showcase for the Eliza Park ‘process’, having been bred on farm, broken in, pre-trained, prepared for auction and sold by Eliza Park.
The 4YOs win on Sunday was his second on the trot (third overall) and he now has five placings as well from 10 outings.
Last but not least is the extremely well bred Risky Business – a Danehill Dancer 5YO from the Group Two winning Star Watch mare Sky Watch – notched up his sixth win in Singapore for expat trainer Steven Burridge.
(Eliza Park sold a Snitzel half sister to Risky Business at this year’s New Zealand Premier for $120,000 to Robbie Griffiths).

Sunday, May 16, 2010


“And thus, dear students, we have arrived at the
formula for understanding women!”

Monday, May 10, 2010


Barack Obama might have problems pushing through reforms, but his Tasmanian ‘namesake’ must surely be close to pushing for a manland start after another powerhouse performance at Hobart yesterday (9 May).
Prince Obama is clearly a 3YO with above average ability. Racing in the I’m Paddy Handicap (1200m), the Clangalang flyer recorded his third win from six outings – finishing in a place at his other three.
Bred by Jenny Watson and sold at the 2008 Tasmanian Magic Millions for $32,000, Prince Obama is out of the Ark Regal mare Angelika and is a half brother to two winners.
Angelika, meanwhile, is a half sister to stakes winner Mucho Dinero.
We keep harping on about it, but Clangalang is one of the best bets going … especially for owner/breeders.
His fee of $5,500 is enormous value and it’s worth keeping in mind that his colt from Genuine Blonde topped this year’s Tasmanian yearling sale at $80,000.

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”
- Barack Obama 

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Patrick and Viviana Yii have bred some outstanding horses over the years, not the least of them being Kenny’s Best Pal’s 2YO stakes winner Firenza.
Well, it could be that the Yiis have another very good neddy out of that family with the Stratum 2YO, American Crew, scoring a gutsy victory over 1300m at Rosehill on Saturday (8 May).
It followed hot on the heels of a solid second at Canterbury at the end of April and the Chris Waller trained bay appears to have his share of ability.
Sold by Eliza Park to BC3 at last year’s Gold Coast Magic Millions for $170,000, American Crew is out of the Danehill Dancer mare Beauty World, a multiple winning half sister to Firenza, both hailing from the Stage Hit family.


Couple to keep for your black book – both out of Gai Waterhouse’s Sydney stable.
Statue of Liberty 2YO, Someday Somehow was very impressive in winning a trial at Rosehill on 4 May and is owned/bred by Gooree Park Stud, who also race another promising Statue of Liberty 2YO in Crystal Empire.
Someday Somehow is out of the Foxhound mare, Mi Piachi and boasts some interesting breeding given that Foxhound is a half brother to Statue of Liberty’s dam, Charming Lassie.
Meanwhile, Providence – a God’s Own colt from the Kaapstad mare, Illicitly, has evidently been working the house down and Gai commented on her website: “The star of the show this week has been Providence and this morning he exploded up the straight.”
Denise Martin’s Star Thoroughbreds paid $135,000 for this bloke at last year’s Gold Coast Magic Millions and he’s out of a 3-time winning half sister to stakes winners Piachay (QTC Brisbane Cup-G1) and Melbourne Group winner Utility.


It appears that Bel Esprit progeny thrive on a change of scenery! The amount of his runners that pop up in the winners’ circle after a shift in stables is phenomenal.
And it happened again on Saturday (8 May), only this time with an added twist.
Speedy mare, Royal Saint recorded her fifth win (along with four placings) from only 14 starts when successful over the 800m at Ipswich in what was her first run for Kelly Schweida since January last year.
Originally with Peter Moody – for all of one start – Royal Saint was sent to Kelly’s stables in Queensland where she raced twice and finished down the track on both occasions.
Spelled for six months, Royal Saint wound up with Phillip Ayoub at Coonabarabran in NSW where she peeled off wins at Wellington, Lithgow, Mudgee and Dubbo, along with a couple of seconds.
And now she’s back with Kelly for another first up win.
Out of the Lake Coniston mare, Poniard (a daughter of UK stakes winner Panga), Royal Saint was bred by Chatswood Stud and hails from a rock solid European family.


Mick Huxtable appears to have jagged himself a very, very good galloper in the shape of Delago Brom 2YO, Condelago.
Having only his second start at Morphettville yesterday (8 May), Condelago fought on gamely to capture the Peggy McKinnon’s 90th Handicap over 1250m.
At his first outing on 17 April, Condelago jumped awkwardly and raced very greenly throughout finishing midfield.
But Mick obviously feels the youngster has ability and was confident the gelding would show his true colours soon enough.
Bred in South Australia by the Mittigas and Blythmans, Condelago was sold through Eliza Park’s Melbourne Premier draft for $50,000. Based on his run yesterday, it’s money well spent.
Out of the Kenny’s Best Pal mare, Concluding, Condelago is a half brother to 4-time stakes winner Moment In Time and Clangalang’s city winner Quid Pro Quo and is closely related to Sandown Cup-G2 winner Conbituate Lady.

You wouldn’t have to be Einstein to work out how Condelago got his name, being by Delago Brom out of Concluding.
But just for a bit of Sunday trivia, a Condylago is a species of orchid, unique to Colombia and found in altitudes ranging from 1400m to 1600m.
Who knows, our Condelago might just get a mile!


The Bel Esprit Winners Club comes up with some weird and wonderful factoids, due largely to the diligence and devotion of its author Brian Donohoe.
Must admit to being a little surprised to see a video of Nijinsky winning the 1970 Epsom Derby pop up on the website though, until the penny dropped of course in that Nijinsky is Bel Esprit’s grand daddy.
And what a horse he was. Winning 11 of 13 starts (six at Group One level) he was, for many years, the most popular branch of the Northern Dancer line in this neck of the woods.
When you get a chance, take a look at the video: 40 years down the track it’s easy to forget just how good a horse he was.
Another interesting aspect was the crowd which was full to overflowing … something which current English racing administrators would love to turn the clock back on.
As for the race call …


Another double for Bel Esprit on Friday (7 May) with Bel Shandy kicking off the program at Bendigo, while Belletrist, ended the day’s racing at the Sunshine Coast with a comfortable win over 1000m as a $1.60 favourite.
Bel Shandy, who is bred, part-owned and trained by Kyneton’s Neil Dyer, has come into his own this campaign with a fourth at Swan Hill in April – his first run in 22 weeks – and followed up with a top third to Statue of Liberty sprinter, Liberty Tycoon, over 1121m at Geelong a fortnight later.
Despite racing three wide to the turn, Bel Shandy proved too good for rivals at Bendigo with almost a length to spare.
Bel Shandy is out of the brilliant Euclase mare, Miss Bently, who won 13 starts (along with three stakes placings) and is a half sister to stakes winner Gently Bently and closely related to multiple stakes winner Touch of Genius.
Bel Shandy is also linebred to Vain through a son and a daughter.
Meanwhile, Queensland bred, Belletrist, completed the daily double with a comfortable victory over 1000m on the Sunshine Coast cushion.
Backed from $2 to $1.60 in the final flurry, Belletrist settled midfield before scooting away in the straight to win by an easy two.
This was the third win (and second placing) from only eight starts for the Troy Hall trained Belletrist and she is yet to finish out of the money – never further back than fourth.
Bred by Canungra Pastoral, Belletrist is out of the stakes winning Roman Prince mare Lady Nicekeilli, a sister to Group winner and Queensland Derby-G1 third Moods.
Belletrist is also a half sister to three other winners including the Group placed Royal Academy 2YO Breezer.


With progeny like Geegees Blackflash (Tasmanian Derby-G3), Luvbite (last start winner over 1800m) and Quid Pro Quo (Morphettville winner over 2040m), it would be assumed by many that Clangalang has a prepotency toward stamina.
Early talk of Reverberates (perhaps his best runner) having a tilt at the Oaks before being sidelined with injury, would undoubtedly fuel that assumption.
After all, Clangalang did win an Australian Derby-G1 (2400m) on his way to an Epsom victory.
However, to dismiss Clangalang as a ‘staying source’ is way too premature when you consider that the likes of Bavarian Belle, Prince Obama, Hi Belle and Cruziero – city winners all – have yet to win beyond 1300m.
Another out and out sprinter is the more than handy WA sprinter, Soviet Banker, who racked up win No. 2 over the 1000m at Pinjarra on Thursday (6 May).
Only twice out of the money in his last 10 outings, the ultra consistent Soviet Banker had no trouble dispensing with rivals at Pinjarra, racing away to score by over two lengths.
Bred by the team at Goulburn Ovens TAFE, Soviet Banker is out of the Star Way mare, Kanava and is closely related to South Australian 2YO stakes winner Wolverton Mountain.

Monday, May 3, 2010


Fantastic performance yesterday (2 May) by exciting Statue of Liberty 2YO, Broadway Harmony, who took out the Listed Dequetteville Stakes over 1100m at Morphettville.
The Darren Weir trained filly, effectively, should have gone into the Dequetteville with an unblemished record, having won convincingly on debut at Moonee Valley on 19 March before finishing second to Jessie’s Girl at Sandown on 24 April.
Broadway Harmony put in an absolute blinder at Sandown, only to go down by a bee’s appendage to another very classy performer in Jessie’s Girl.
Broadway Harmony exacted revenge on Jessie’s Girl in the Dequetteville – winning by over two lengths – but the latter missed the start and it may develop into an interesting rivalry between the pair.
Bred by Mrs C Sherer, Broadway Harmony is out of No Peace, a winning three quarter sister to Flemington stakes winner No Mischief (5 wins) and the stakes placed No Mystery (7 wins).
Importantly, No Peace is out of the Danzig stallion Rokosz: anything with Danzig in it seems to work a treat with Statue of Liberty!
Congratulations to all the team at Darren and Liz Dance’s Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock who purchased Broadway Harmony for $18,000 at last year’s Inglis Autumn Yearling Sale.
and adds to an impressive tally for the syndication mob whose 19 winners last year were highlighted by Fitoussi who finished third in the SAJC Derby-G1.
Statue of Liberty is currently fourth on the Australian Third Season Sires’ chart: effectively maintaining a top five position against peers since his first crop hit the ground running in 2007/08.
Broadway Harmony (below) is stakes winner No. 8 for the Storm Cat stallion who will return to Eliza Park this spring at a fee of $17,600.
Statue of Liberty covered a full book of 156 mares last spring and will be limited to a harem of 120 in 2010.
With the likes of Mic Mac, Hay List and Solchow all waiting in the wings, it would be best to jump in quick.
For further information on bookings, phone David Somers on 0428 440 330, Mark Lindsay on 0416 334 338 or Phil Marshall on 0407 853 782.