Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Keen industry observer – Breednet’s Tara Madgwick – is clearly looking forward to the spring.

Sitting in the grandstand last Saturday at Randwick, my seven year-old son Jack turned to me and said, “Will More Joyous race Hay List?” and with that one question it dawned on me that racing has not had it so good in a very long time.
For years now we have had a very bland, lacklustre offering served up each season as carnival racing and while I don’t wish to offend the connections of some very good horses, Takeover Target aside, it’s been less than inspiring.
There was a glimmer of excitement when Miss Andretti and Gold Edition went to head to head in a couple of races in the Melbourne spring of 2007, but outside of that ... boring!
Where were the stars?
When Lonhro and Northerly retired in 2004 they took all the glamour and excitement out of racing with them.
An equine Adonis, Lonhro had the suave, sophisticated, charismatic charm of a George Clooney, while Northerly had the toughness and street smarts of the WA brawler he assuredly was … and then we had Sunline!
From the moment I first laid eyes on her at Randwick when she stepped out for the Furious Stakes in 1998 she had me ... she had me at hello!
Feisty, powerful and domineering, this Kiwi phenomenon was excitement on four legs!
Since their departure, racing has slipped into a malaise of more of the same with talented horses packed off to stud all too soon and other good horses winning the big ones, but failing to ignite any real passion with the dwindling race day crowds.
That has all changed this spring as we now have a cast of larger than life characters straight from a Hollywood movie ... Shrek!
In the title role we have Shrek himself, the lovable ogre – Hay List (by STATUE OF LIBERTY).
A giant of a horse that has won 11 of 13, I feel privileged to have been at Moonee Valley last Friday night to watch this hulking athlete win his first Group One for ‘battling’ trainer John McNair and his owners the Davenport family.
Sitting at a table that included the connections of the great Manikato, owner Mal Seccull and jockey Gary Willetts, I couldn’t help but wonder if Hay List might be able to channel some of the great horse’s spirit and bring that much needed magic back to racing.
If we have a Shrek we have to have a Princess Fiona and that is undoubtedly More Joyous, a blue-blooded princess with a feisty edge if ever there was one.
Trained by Australia’s first lady of racing Gai Waterhouse for one of most popular owners in the land in John Singleton, More Joyous has won nine of 12 and her last seven in a row.
A somewhat fragile conveyance earlier in her career with a freakishly brilliant turn of foot, four year-old More Joyous has blossomed this preparation and what we are seeing now is the tip of the iceberg in terms of what this mare can achieve if allowed to race on, which she assuredly will as this is one owner in no hurry to rush off to stud.
Standing over all of them is Prince Charming, the Bart Cummings trained entire So You Think.
With five wins and two seconds from just eight starts, So You Think is only just starting to hit his straps.
He won the Cox Plate last spring as a boy at his fifth start and is back this time as a man, his appearances this preparation nothing short of breathtaking as he marches towards a second Cox Plate and possible tilt at the Melbourne Cup.
The trainer Bart Cummings and owner Dato Tan Chin Nam aren’t frightened to run them so let’s hope we see a lot more from a horse that is one of the most drop dead beautiful thoroughbreds you will ever see.
And speaking of beautiful there is another character to this cast of equine stars, albeit not from this movie.
Tall, statuesque and darkly dangerous is the Angelina Jolie of the horse world, Hot Danish.
A seven year-old mare trained by Les Bridge, Hot Danish is the punters favourite in Sydney with 16 wins from 25 starts and $2million in prizemoney.
She gets the crowd on their feet and has never gone better, her sire Nothin’ Leica Dane a key player from another glorious era of racing ... that of the The Fantastic Four.
In the autumn of 1996, Sydney racegoers were witness to a series of epic battles featuring Octagonal, Saintly, Nothin’ Leica Dane and Filante.
This was gladiatorial stuff, gut wrenching, spine tingling, genuinely exciting racing that took the sport we love to a wider audience.
That wider audience is about to be re-captured, bring it on!

Hay List


Thanks to our General Manager Operations for passing this on, but he'd better hope his better half doesn't read this news page!

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Guineas for Morgan?

BEL ESPRIT’s stellar racing career – which included Group One victories in the Blue Diamond and Doomben 10,000 – will ensure he is remembered as one of the finest sprinters of the past decade.
However, one of his best performances was over a ‘mile’ in the Caulfield Guineas where he ran into more trouble than Flash Gordon, yet still ran a mighty second behind Helenus.
Never mind … it appears that his flashy 3YO from the Bellotto mare, Bellain, has a seriously good chance of squaring the ledger. Brad Waters takes up the story:

Trainer Peter Morgan says Seriously Good has a constantly fluctuating white blood cell count, but it didn’t stop the son of Bel Esprit claiming the Handicap (1440m) at Caulfield today.
“He’s had his problems with his white cells being up and down,” Morgan said. “If we can keep his white cells under control then I think he can improve on that.
“It means he has got a low-grade infection somewhere. We haven’t been able to combat it but this week his bloods have been the best he has ever been.
“It has been frustrating. One day we take his bloods and he looks good and the next time his bloods are all over the place.”
Jockey Luke Nolen always has Seriously Good travelling comfortably on the back of the leaders before angling clear to make his run towards the inside of the track at the 250m.
Seriously Good stretched out strongly to beat backmarkers Smokin’ Joey and Meredith with the well-bred Sydney colt Best Choice making ground to finish fourth.
Morgan said Seriously Good is still among the Caulfield Guineas entries and may have earned himself a chance to recoup some of his big purchase price in the October 9 feature.
“I think there is still a little bit more improvement left in him,” he said. “We have still got him in the Guineas so we could go that way.
“We thought he might have been a sprinter early on what he showed us on his work. In a few runs he has been a little bit dour; he is heading for a little bit further than 1400m anyway.
“He might not even get into the Guineas, I’m not sure. But we have always had a good opinion of him.”

Bred by Jonel Park Thoroughbreds in Queensland, Seriously Good was originally sold as a yearling for $20,000 before being prepared for the 2009 Gold Coast Magic Millions Horses in Training Sale where he was knocked down to Morgan for $360,000.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Brilliant Hay List captures the Manikato

In a word … AWESOME! In a sizzling display in the Group One Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley last night, it appears that STATUE OF LIBERTY flyer Hay List has taken up the mantle of Australia’s best sprinter.
Although missing the start by a smidge and having a slight wobble on the turn for home, Hay List was clearly untroubled to take out his first Group One with the promise of plenty more.
Trainer John McNair was – understandably – toey before the race and while he said that he’d never had Hay List as fit, he was slightly concerned about the horse racing under lights.
It seems that John will never be afraid of the dark again and, ominously, warned that he couldn’t wait for Hay List to race down the Flemington straight in the Patinack Farm Classic-G1 on Emirates Stakes Day (probably after a lead up in the Moir Stakes-G2 at the Valley on the Cox Plate program).
Meanwhile, South African jockey Glyn Schofield admitted his charge was up there with the greats and revealed that Hay List still had plenty of improvement in him!
In a Group One 1, 2 for Eliza Park, the Marion Smart bred and owned True Persuasion put in a career best performance to run second behind Hay List and the son of BEL ESPRIT has now won over $300,000 from four wins and six placings.


It was some meeting at Moonee Valley: especially in terms of the Eliza Park connection.
Not only did Hay List take out his first Group One, BEL ESPRIT unearthed another Group One performer in True Persuasion, which was bred and is owned by long-time client Marion Smart.
Trained by Mick Price, the 4YO entire fought on the whole way and ran Hay List to a two and a half panel second in the Manikato.
There’s certainly no discredit in running second to a horse like Hay List and True Persuasion is clearly in line for a Group One win of his own.
Certainly he has hardly put a foot wrong in 12 starts to date with four wins, six placings and $305,713 in stakes.
Eliza Park would also like to congratulate the connections of Hollowlea who won the $200,000 Statue of Liberty Stutt Stakes-G2 (somewhat fittingly the race immediately following Hay List’s demolition of the Manikato).
And finally, a big pat on the back to the Mark Kavanagh stable after the win of Shrapnel in the TEAC Plate earlier in the night.
The promising 3YO colt is by Charge Forward out of the Snippets mare Fragmentation, making him a half brother to 2010 Newmarket Handicap-G1 winner and Eliza Park’s star recruit WANTED.


Friday, September 24, 2010


Our thanks to Lauriston Lodge for sending through these pics, resulting from some clearly inventive folk ...

Thursday, September 23, 2010


First season sire, WRITTEN TYCOON, has gotten off to tremendous start with his first three 2YOs all winning official barrier trials this week.
The Lee Freedman trained Masthead (ex. Redoute’s Choice mare Balsamico) got the ball rolling on Monday morning at Cranbourne, winning his heat in 48.84 seconds – the quickest 2YO trial of the day.
Meanwhile, north of the Murray, Trump (ex. Black Minnaloushe mare Queenie) – a spitting image of his sire – ran the second fastest Randwick trial, heralding a big future for the David Payne trained colt who is now on target for the Listed Breeders’ Plate at Randwick on 2 October.
Not to be left out of the mix, Paul Perry’s Some Boy (ex. General Nediym mare Paris Storm) scooted away to victory in the official 2YO barrier trials at Newcastle earlier today.
What’s more, three Written Tycoon youngsters – all designed for the Magic Millions Horses in Training Sale next month – ran sub 11 second breeze ups on the Gold Coast on Tuesday.
A talented and precocious 2YO in his own right, Written Tycoon has been popular since arriving at Eliza Park in 2007, covering 323 mares and is scheduled for another three figure book this spring.
Written Tycoon stands the 2010 season at a fee of $6,600 and, given the run of bookings since Monday, limited numbers remain.
For further information phone David Somers 0428 440 330, Mark Lindsay 0416 334 338 or Phil Marshall 0407 853 782.


Caulfield trainer, Colin Little is a bloomin’ marvel. Not only does he have an excellent eye for a horse, but he’s also got the patience of Job.
Colin’s BEL ESPRIT flyer Work The Room is a case in point. The 5YO oozes talent but has had a career threatening injury which kept him off the racing scene for 15 months.
However, after solid victories at his first two starts – at Ballarat and Sandown – Colin nursed Work The Room back to full strength and he resumed in August with a bee’s appendage second over 1200m at Geelong, laying in badly for most of the straight.
He then raced wide at his next start at Sale before finishing on solidly for third, beaten just on a length.
Then there was yesterday. Cyberhorse’s Grayson White takes up the story:

Despite an on course drift in the betting ring, the Colin Little-trained Work The Room broke through for his first win this preparation in the $30,000 Royal Charter Handicap (1700m) at Betfair Park.
Work The Room jumped well and was ridden positively by Luke Nolen who gave the lightly raced 5YO the run of the race sitting just off the pace with cover.
Turning for home, Work The Room looked to have the race won but a late charge along the rails by Foxham resulted in a winning margin of half a length.
Little was relieved to be back in the winners’ circle with the Bel Esprit gelding who has carried big raps since showing a brilliant turn of foot at just his first race start.
“It was nice to be two to three lengths in front of Rundle in the run,” said Little after the win. “He is a pretty promising horse and being Zipping’s half brother he has always had a rap on him.”
Little admitted the gelding’s failure at its previous start was most likely because of the four week gap between runs due to unsuitable racing surfaces.
“We were looking for a good track and because we scratched him a few times he probably got to Sale a bit soft because we ticked him over a bit long,” he said.
“I still believe he will get better on top of the ground so there could be more improvement in him.”


This falls under the general header of "Men without adult supervision" but we give full marks for the sprinkling system!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Although yet to be represented by an actual race starter yet, WRITTEN TYCOON has been named Stallion of the Week by Magic Millions.

A Magic Millions Yearling Sale graduate in his own right, Written Tycoon is our stallion of the week - despite having not yet had a runner.
This freshman sire is the talk of the town though with trial winners at Cranbourne and Randwick on Monday. The Eliza Park based son of Iglesia has a quality line up of 2YOs to go under the hammer at next month’s National Horses in Training Sale.

(Written Tycoon has three of his first crop progeny run sub 11 second breeze ups at the Gold Coast on Monday)

Written Tycoon (top) is clearly throwing them to type with trial winner Trump (above) a fine example of the quality available.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


SHINZIG is one of 7 Group One winning sons of Danehill (maximum winning distance 1600m) who are standing at stud in Australia, with 6 of those sons producing Group One winners in their own right.
Shinzig was a Group One winner himself – taking out what was arguably the toughest CF Orr Stakes (1400m) in the race’s history – he’s by the legendary Danehill and he’s out of the Group One winner and Rosehill track record holder, Shindig (6 winners from 6 runners).
It’s Group One all the way and the first of his yearlings (from a 100+ book including a number of Group One winners or relations to Group One winners) will be available at major Australasian auctions in 2011.

Monday, September 20, 2010


Eliza Park is conducting – on behalf of its shareholders – an Online Tender for 2010 service fee nominations.
Closing at 5pm on 30 September, nominations are available in nine of Eliza Park’s stallions, but vary in numbers available.
To submit a tender, simply click here for instructions.
You will be notified via email as to whether a tender has been successful following consultation with the individual shareholder.


The few remaining shareholder nominations in WRITTEN TYCOON are about to fly out the gate: just like his first two runners at today’s official 2YO trials in Melbourne and Sydney.
Lee Freedman’s Masthead got the ball rolling with a comfortable victory at Cranbourne, running the fastest 2YO trial of the day in 48.84 seconds.
Out of the Redoute’s Choice mare Balsamico and bred by Vintage Bloodstock in South Australia, Masthead was sold to the Freedman Brothers at the 2010 Melbourne Premier for $65,000.
Meanwhile, north of the Murray, another Written Tycoon colt – the David Payne trained Trump – showed his rivals (including $400,000 yearling purchase Lieutenant Colonel) a clean set of hoofs by taking out his 850m trial at Randwick by a widening three lengths in 51.84 seconds … just three tenths of a second outside the fastest 2YO trial of the morning.
Hailing from the Black Minnaloushe mare Queenie and bred by Aston Bloodstock in NSW, Trump is raced in partnership by Eliza Park after the colt was sold as a yearling for $45,000.

Lee Freedman's classy colt Masthead (above), while Trump (below) appears to be the spitting image of his sire


Happy hunting ground today at Cranbourne’s official trials with BEL ESPRIT progeny winning three and placing in another of the five heats they contested.
Leading by example was potential superstar, Black Caviar, who was unextended in winning the first trial of the day: in the quickest time recorded (47.75 seconds for the 800m).
Black Caviar is bound to generate a great deal of excitement in whatever race Peter Moody sets for her for this spring and, along with STATUE OF LIBERTY’s Hay List, will provide Eliza Park with a two pronged attack for Australian racing’s biggest carnival.
Bel Esprit 3YO, Ripa Artois, has only had the one outing – a neck second at Sale in June after copping a bump on jumping – and looked all business today with his trial win over God Help Us (GOD’S OWN).
Ripa Artois is out of the Zabeel mare, Zartois, and was bred by Michael Phillips, who also trains and part owns the speedy youngster.
Wabash River – a 3YO filly by Bel Esprit – was stepping out for the first time in public but the occasion didn’t faze her in the slightest, comfortably winning her trial and setting up a nice debut for trainer John Moloney.
Bred by Jonel Park in Queensland, Wabash River is out of the Ashkalani mare, White River, a half sister to Group One winner Sheer Kingston.

A bit of trivia for you: the Wabash is the state river of Indiana and flows into the Ohio.
Apart from having three relatively notable battles fought on or near the Wabash, it’s also famous for the Indiana state song, On the Banks of the Wabash (not to be confused with Olivia Newton John’s ditty, On the Banks of the Ohio!).

Bel Esprit's unbeaten mare Black Caviar

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Eliza Park’s growing reputation in South East Asia received another boost on Friday and Saturday nights with victories to Unpickable (DELAGO BROM) at Kranji (Singapore) and Blue Sky (BEL ESPRIT) at Sha Tin (Hong Kong) respectively.
Unpickable – who races out of the Steve Burridge stable – picked up his fourth victory in Singapore with a hard fought win.
Bred by Tasmania’s good doctor, Graham McLeod, Unpickable is out the Never Quit mare, Quit Smokin’, a dual stakes winner and closely related to Blue Diamond winner Canonise.
Across the water, Blue Sky was equally impressive in Hong Kong – having his first run of the new season – and also notching up his fourth win for trainer Caspar Fownes and expat hoop, Brett Prebble.
Amazing performance actually – a furlong out he looked to have little chance and about as much room to move as a backyard outhouse. Full marks to Prebble’s steering: click here for a replay.
Blue Sky is out of the Supremo mare Aquatint and was bred by Eliza Park.

Supreme Best made it three from three in three days when successful at Macau's Taipa track on Sunday night (19 September).
Notching up his second win in Macau, Supreme Best is by Bel Esprit from the Canny Lad mare Ultima Vita and was bred by Rob Ferguson in NSW.

Supreme Best (by Bel Esprit) scored at Taipa on Sunday night.


Top win yesterday (18 September) by Danetime mare Valentine Miss, who scored a breakthrough victory in the $125,750 Group Three MRC How Now Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield.
The ill-fated Danetime only shuttled to Australia for three seasons but his legacy was an amazing 71% winners to runners and his locally bred progeny include Group One winner Megatic.
Overseas though, the Danehill stallion’s impact was substantial and among his Group One winners was Eliza Park’s 2010 recruit, BUSHRANGER who took out both the Middle Park Stakes-G1 (breaking Oasis Dream’s track record at Newmarket for six furlongs) and the Prix Morny-G1 in race record time.
As for the Mark Kavanagh trained, Valentine Miss, she hails from the second last Oz crop of Danetime and was sold for only $12,000 at the 2007 Perth Magic Millions. Not a bad result given that the mare has now won over $350,000 following the Caulfield victory.

Greg Irvine takes up the story: Valentine Miss is raced by Nada Banovic-Edwards - wife of former top Perth trainer Dave Edwards – and kicked off her career with their son Shane, winning three races in Perth and scoring valuable black type with a second in the listed Burgess Queen Stakes. She was also fifth in a Group Two WA Guineas.
The decision to send the mare to Melbourne and Mark Kavanagh has proven to be a masterstroke.
Since arriving in Melbourne last year she has raced on seven occasions for three wins and two second placings – as well as a fourth in the Group One Robert Sangster Stakes.
Following today’s valuable group win, Kavanagh recalled first meeting Dave Edwards “many years ago”.
“I remember he was in Adelaide working for Bart (Cummings) and he used to strap Light Fingers and he used to leg me up and lead me around the streets of Morphettville.
“They were good times – I felt so good when I was on her back!”

Danetime flyer and Eliza Park recruit Bushranger

Friday, September 17, 2010


Good luck to Beltrois in tomorrow’s Patinack Farm Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes-G1 at Caulfield.
The BEL ESPRIT flyer is facing some stiff opposition, but is clearly a high calibre sprinter, running second in the Bobbie Lewis-G1 at his previous start and finishing in the first four in five Group and Listed outings, including a victory in the Doveton Stakes-LR over 1200m at Caulfield in January and a fourth (beaten 1.3 lengths) in the Group One Goodwood Handicap at Morphettville in May.
Beltrois is raced by a number of Eliza Park clients – including Bel Esprit part-owner Brian Donohoe – and was bred by Robbie Griffiths, who also trains the horse.



We’re seriously considering tracking down Pablo Francisco to do our stallion video voice overs next year …


It’s not only the thoroughbreds that are seeing plenty of action at this time of year.
David Somers, Eliza’s General Manager of Operations, has his hands full keeping an eye on the comings and goings of mares, but is adamant that ‘duck watch’ falls outside his job description.
Still, it didn’t stop him taking this family snap of Donna Duck and her brood out for a road trip at Eliza Park’s Kerrie farm.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Our thanks to Michelle Page from Magic Millions, who never ceases to outdo herself when it comes to humourous emails.


Absolutely nothing to do with racing and breeding: although some of you undoubtedly sat next to a couple of these wits ...

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Hay List (Statute Of Liberty) staked an early claim for championship honours with a brilliant victory in the $200,000 McEwen Stakes (Gr 3, 1000m) at Moonee Valley.
Glyn Schofield was required only to steer as Hay List always travelled strongly, looming up alongside Catapulted (Catbird) into the straight before bounding clear. At the end of the 1000 metres Hay List had a length and a half to spare over a game Catapulted with Reward For Effort (Exceed And Excel) a further two and a half lengths further back in third.
“I’m still shaking! This horse is a very very good horse and it is so exciting to be associated with an animal like him,” trainer John McNair said, adding “he could go to the top this horse.”
“There are probably three or four races down here that would suit him, then we will sit down and talk about what comes after that.”
Jockey Glyn Schofield echoed McNair’s thoughts. “He is a very exciting animal, as his runs have shown since coming east,” Schofield said. “He has gone north and south and blown them a way both times; good horses have a V8, this guy is jet propelled.
He toyed with this lot and they were a very talented bunch.”
“John has a lot of horse to work with.”
Trainer Mark Kavanagh summed it up in a single sentence. “He just broke Catapulted’s heart.”
Hay List is by STATUE OF LIBERTY who stands at Eliza Park Stud at Romsey where his fee in 2010 is advertised at $17,600.
The winner of 10 of his 12 starts, Hay List has earned $497,625.
- ANZ Bloodstock News, 12 September


Peaceful Warrior has continued the outstanding run of success by BEL ESPRIT progeny in Singapore with a win on debut at Kranji on Friday night (10 September).

Trainer Steven Burridge produced first starter Peaceful Warrior to score an impressive debut win in the $65,000 Restricted Maiden over 1200m on Friday (10 September).
Ridden by Vlad Duric, Peaceful Warrior wore down the favourite Aradea to score by a length with Astronaut Man (Robbie Fradd) 4.5 lengths away third.
Peaceful Warrior arrived from Australia as an unraced and untrialled galloper: “He was very green when he got here, but wife Julie and Peter (Gilman) along with all the staff have put in a lot of work with the horse,” Burridge said post race.
Burridge had concerns in the straight that Peaceful Warrior may not finish the race off as expected but was pleased how the gelding knuckled down in the closing stages.
“He got to the line well. I thought he might get a bit lost, but he’s done a good job and might have a bit of a future up here.”
Duric described Peaceful Warrior as being “all legs” but looks a promising type.
“I think he’s going to be much better when he gets out over a slight longer journey,” said Duric.
Peaceful Warrior is a three-year-old Australian-bred gelding by Bel Esprit from the Umatilla mare Let’s Begin and is owned by the Gemini Stable.
“It is the owner’s first winner,” said Burridge. “They haven’t had much luck to date with their three previous horses all finishing towards the tail.
“This is a good result for them and I hope they can have some more success.”
- Craig Brennan, Singapore Turf Club

Bred by Steven Blore, Peaceful Warrior (below) is linebred to Nijinsky through a son and daughter.

Friday, September 10, 2010


Eliza Park’s General Manager Racing, Sue Ellis, is a Group One winning trainer and a favoured (adopted) daughter of Melton’s thriving horse industry.
Trainer of Daria’s Fun, who raced in the 1987 Melbourne Cup (obviously Sue was a teenager at the time!), Ms Ellis was asked by the Melton Weekly magazine to dig into her memory bank for its Melbourne Cup feature.
The following flows from the keyboard of Meg Sobey:

IT may be only be a few minutes of thumping hooves and hearts, but for Sue Ellis the Melbourne Cup is all about patience.
Twenty-three years ago she held her breath while Daria’s Fun, a horse she has trained, galloped down the home straight at Flemington Racecourse in 1987. Though the mare finished eighth as Kensei powered to victory, the experience was unbeatable … almost.
“It’s a life-time dream,” Ms Ellis says. “The only thing better would be winning it.”
Living in the home of harness racing in Toolern Vale, she is always been within the equestrian world. A former competitive show-jumper, she started putting horses through their paces on the track for extra cash back in her homeland New Zealand.
‘‘Once I was known as an experienced rider I used to get sent horses for re-education.
“I got asked to train a problem horse that ended up winning a race, and I guess I was hooked after that.’’
Now the general manager of racing at Eliza Park stud in the Macedon Ranges, she works with young thoroughbreds at the beginning of their careers.
The stud’s motto is Winning Starts Here.
Each year 150 yearlings are broken-in at the stud, both those bred on the farm and those sent to the stables by trainers in the city, such as high profile Mick Price and Mike Moroney.
While Eliza Park has not been represented in the Melbourne Cup in her time, it is hardly surprising.
‘‘The reality is very few horses make the field,” Ms Ellis says. “Only 22 horses line up. So the odds of getting a runner in the Melbourne Cup are really slight.’’
In addition, horses are not often bred specifically for distance races such as the Melbourne Cup.
“Everyone wants a horse to race as a two-year-old because that is [the owners] best chance of getting some money back fast. But they are sprinters, whereas staying horses need to be stronger and more mature. Most Melbourne Cup horses come into their best at four, five, six, even older. You have to give them time.”
Ms Ellis still has hopes of again putting a horse in the starting gates on the first Tuesday in November.
She inherited Daria’s Fun’s daughter Daria's Debut and has bred her progeny ever since, including great-grandson Kate Loves Jack and great-grandaughter Belle's Gold.
“They are both winners, but neither of them has gone anywhere near what Daria’s Fun showed,” she says. “At some stage that family will bob up again with another good stayer, I’m sure. I am waiting for them.”


Boom sprinter Hay List (by STATUE OF LIBERTY) could be the next Australian star on the international stage with Hong Kong and Royal Ascot on the radar following his spring engagements in Melbourne.
Hay List resumes in tomorrow’s Group Three McEwen Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley following his sensational five-length victory in the Group Three Healy Stakes (1200m) at Eagle Farm in June.
The Healy Stakes was the former Perth sprinter’s ninth win from 11 starts.
Trainer John McNair’s star has already been sounded out as a possible invitee for the Group One Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) at Sha Tin in December but no decision will be made until after the five-year-old completes a four-race assignment in Melbourne.
“I’ve had him inoculated already just in case he’s invited to go to Hong Kong,” McNair said.
“The problem about going to Hong Kong is the quarantine restrictions coming back to Australia.
“If the option comes up to go to Hong Kong we’ll seriously consider it but it’s up to the owners who all live in Perth.”
McNair also has the option of heading back to Perth with Hay List for the Group Two Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot in November.
“The Winterbottom Stakes has just had a stakes increase and is worth $750,000 now,” he said.
“It would be either the Winterbottom Stakes or Hong Kong but the worry about going back to Perth could be hard tracks while Hong Kong has a better surface and is up the straight.
“We’ll see how he handles the straight six at Flemington in the Patinack Farm first.”
McNair knows Hay List has a long way to go emulate Choisir, Takeover Target, Miss Andretti, Scenic Blast and former Australian galloper Starspangledbanner on the international stage but is keen to give him his chance against the world’s best sprinters at Royal Ascot next year.
“England is part of the Global Sprint Challenge and it’s definitely on our radar,” McNair said.
Chris Munce declared he would travel anywhere to maintain his association with Hay List after winning the Healy Stakes on the gelding.
However, McNair has remained loyal to Sydney jockey Glyn Schofield who will be reunited with Hay List in Melbourne.
“The decision to go with Glyn was made before Chris won on him in the Healy,” McNair said.
“It’s unfortunate for Chris but he’s still a chance of getting back on him if Glyn is injured or suspended.
“The horse is going terrific at the moment and we’re looking at four races in Melbourne with him.”
The remaining three races mapped out for Hay List comprise the Group One Manikato Stakes under lights at Moonee Valley on September 24, Group Two Caulfield Sprint (1100m) on October 9 and the Group One Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 6.
“He’s won eight of his nine races in Perth but I still believe he’s a better horse racing right-handed,” McNair said.
“If for some reason he doesn’t fire in the McEwen Stakes there’s a chance he may go back to Sydney for The Shorts.
“If that’s the case his ultimate goal would be in the TJ Smith in Sydney in the autumn.”
- Racing and Sports

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Jonathan Munz has had to plenty to cheer about of late.
As vice-chairman of the Thoroughbred Racehorse Owners’ Association and major shareholder in exciting young stallion, SHARKBITE, Jonathan is kept pretty busy, but he took time out on Tuesday to cheer home a colt he bred, Mukarrar, who was stepping out at Geelong.
Not that he had to ‘ride’ Mukarrar too hard! The Redoute’s Choice colt – a full brother to Sharkbite – absolutely trounced his rivals and is now one of David Hayes’ major guns for the 2010 VRC Derby.
Breednet’s Tara Madgwick takes up the story:

When a horse wins by 10 lengths it’s always worth a look to see what they are, especially when the sire is Redoute’s Choice.
The Horse in question is the David Hayes trained 3YO colt Mukarrar who turned the 1900 metre maiden at Geelong on Tuesday into a procession as he strolled home to win by 10 lengths from older rivals.
Having just his second race start, the colt looks to have plenty of potential as he should, being a full brother to smart stakes-winner and promising young sire Sharkbite (below).
“He’s a promising stayer and I kept him going to the line to keep his mind on the job,” said winning rider Steve Baster.
Connections will no doubt have the Group One VRC Victoria Derby in mind for the royally bred colt, who was purchased by Shadwell for $525,000 at the 2009 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale.
Mukarrar is the fifth foal of the Quest for Fame mare Back Pass (USA), who comes from the family of the best broodmare in the world Hasili, dam of five Group One winners and leading sire Dansili.
(Hasili produced her seventh stakes winner last week when Deluxe won a Listed event at Longchamp).
Back Pass was offered at the Inglis Australian Breeding Stock Sale earlier this year fetching $260,000 when bought by Dean Hawthorne Bloodstock and was not in foal.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Tony Arrold, editor of The Australian’s Thoroughbreds gave Eliza Park’s 2010 Champion recruit the thumbs up his First Season Sires’ column on 6 September.

THE massive share of Group I races in the 2009-10 season taken out by descendants of Northern Dancer and particularly his son Danzig will not alter irrespective of the outcome of an appeal against last week’s verdict to disqualify Ortensia as the winner of the 2010 Group I The Galaxy.
Of 68 Group I events in Australia for that season, 44 were won by members of the Northern Dancer tribe of which the Danzig branch of sire-sons, grandsons and greatgrandsons claimed 29. Danzig’s best son, Danehill, and his tribe of sons accounted for 21 of those 29 wins — the VRC Australian Cup victory by Zipping crediting the dual-hemisphere champion with his 89th Group I winner worldwide and the other 20 won by progeny of his sons Fastnet Rock, Redoute’s Choice, Flying Spur, Nothin Leica Dane, Danewin, Commands, Danasinga, Catbird and Keeper, and a grandson, Stratum.
At Randwick in April, Ortensia was the second Group I winner of the season for Perugino, by Danzig, after Rostova in the Group I SAJC Robert Sangster Stakes. But with Ortensia disqualified after a positive post-race dope test, the Galaxy prize, pending an appeal, will fall to Shellscrape, second over the line in the Randwick sprint feature. Shellscrape, a $40,000 buy at the 2007 Magic Millions National weanling sale, is a first-crop son of Dane Shadow, by Danehill.
Small wonder, then, that the Danzig factor remains the flavour of the year for the Australian breeding season, with the former brilliantly fast son of Northern Dancer and his matchless sire-son Danehill again dominating the pool with a 30 per cent slice of the near 800 active stallions. And the dominance is also reflected among the platoon of first-season sires in Australia for the 2010 spring.
Victoria’s Eliza Park clearly subscribes to the Danzig factor since its stallion roster of 11, headed up by the state’s leading sire Bel Esprit (by Royal Academy), includes six male-line members: Danehill’s son Shinzig and his grandsons Magnus (by Flying Spur), Wanted (Fastnet Rock), the Redoute’s Choice duo God’s Own and Sharkbite and Bushranger, by Danetime. Bushranger, standing his first season at Eliza Park, holds immense interest not only because he topped his generation as a dual Group I juvenile winner in two countries, but also for the fact he is one of a rare handful of stakes winners inbred to Danzig to go to stud.
Eliza Park secured a half-share interest in Bushranger in April, when he was working through his first book of mares on his birthplace, the Tally Ho Stud in Ireland. Bushranger covered his first northern season at Tally Ho at a fee equivalent to just under the $11,000 fee set for him at Eliza Park.
Danzig, who sired more than 130 stakes winners, never had the chance to win a stakes race. He was retired and given his opportunity at stud on the basis of brilliant wins on his three racecourse appearances, a brief career restricted by unsoundness. But that was a trait he certainly did not pass on to Danehill, nor to Green Desert, the other Danzig element in Bushranger’s pedigree.
At stud, the pair have sired a variety of top-class runners over a wide distance range with Danehill’s staying notables the Derby winners Nothin Leica Dane, North Light and Desert King as well as the resilient Dylan Thomas and admirably tough Duke of Marmalade and Green Desert celebrated through his son Cape Cross, sire of multiple classic winners Sea The Stars and Ouija Board.
Danetime was a juvenile winner at 1200m and was tried up to 1600m without success at three. Bushranger never went beyond 1200m in his 10 starts but, like Danetime, showed high proficiency over the sprinters’ course.
Indeed, Bushranger can claim to have been the fastest two-year-old in Europe in 2008 having posted race and track records in winning his pair of Group Is in different countries. Bushranger clocked a race record in winning the Group I Prix Morny at Deauville and then lowered Oasis Dream’s race and course record in the Group I Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket.
Bushranger is from the last foal crop of Danetime, who shuttled to Western Australia for four seasons but died early into the fourth year, 2005. Megatic, the Group I WATC Railway Stakes winner, is the best performed runner from Danetime’s Australian seasons, along with Group winners Denebella, Roman Time, Famous Roman, So Secret and Dark Target.
The Stewards’ Cup (1200m) at Goodwood may only rate as a Listed race in England, but it is every bit as competitive as the Group I VRC Newmarket Handicap here and Danetime won it as a three-year-old, landing a massive plunge and beating 29 others.



Fair old effort trackside yesterday with winners in three states by Eliza Park stallions: Queen Esprit (by BEL ESPRIT) in NSW, Lady Jodalyna (by CLANGALANG) in Victoria and A Class Above (by DELAGO BROM) who was exactly that in Queensland.
Queen Espirt – out of the Night Shift mare, Say Good Morning, and bred by Roseleigh Park – was registering her fourth win (plus eight placings) over 1300m, while Lady Jodalyna (bred by the Kite family and hailing from the Our Poetic Prince mare Glenbrook Lady) ploughed through the heavy going for rising trainer Alicia Macpherson.
Meanwhile, A Class Above continued her excellent run with a two length romp over 1500m – her third win and fourth placing from only 10 outings.
Bred by Otto Hoffelner and out of the Brief Truce mare A Class Act, A Class Above is a full sister to Macau Group One winner Ecstatic Macau (pictured below).


This one comes to us from Brad Clarke: if you go out into the woods tonight

During a private ‘fly in’ fishing excursion in the Alaskan wilderness, the chartered pilot and fisherman left a cooler and bait in the plane. And a bear smelled it …

Undeterred, the pilot used his radio and had another pilot bring him two new tyres, three cases of duct tape and a supply of sheet plastic. He patched the plane together and flew it home.

Forget your AMEX – just don’t leave home without your duct tape!

Monday, September 6, 2010


Super Saturday for high Eliza Park’s pinup, BEL ESPRIT, with a two state double (Belfast Boy and Royal Steal) and a game second (Beltrois) in the Group Three Bobbie Lewis at Flemington.
Having just his sixth start for trainer Gordon Richards in the Schweppes Tonic Handicap over 1000m, Belfast Boy opened around $17 on the tote before firming into $6 at start time. Someone’s made some dough because the issue was never in doubt with Belfast Boy careering away to win by two.
Belfast Boy won at Oakbank in March before being sent for a spell and resumed in a stakes race at Morphettville on 31 July before a fourth over the 1050m at Morphettville on 21 August.
Belfast Boy has now returned almost twice his asking price as a yearling and clearly has a promising future.
Bred by Peter Macvean and TROA Chairman Andrew Lafontaine, Belfast Boy is out of the Bureaucracy mare, Fast Dolly and hails from the family of UK great Brigadier Gerard.
Royal Steal also recorded his second victory with a handy win over 1300m at Fannie Bay on Saturday (3 September).
A full brother to the brilliant Esprit de Roses, Royal Steal is out of the Rubiton mare, Coming Up Roses – a sister to Group Two winner Innovation Girl – Royal Steal was bred by Alistair and Patti McFarlane’s Tori Park Stud.
However, the most notable performance on Saturday came from the ultra-consistent Beltrois, a gallant second to one of the land’s best sprinters in Doubtful Jack in the Bobbie Lewis over 1200m.
Beltrois has only once finished out of the top four in 17 career outings and won the Doveton Stakes-LR on 9 January having earlier finished a half length second to Royal Ida in the Standish Handicap-G3 on New Year’s Day.
Since the Doveton, Beltrois ran third at Caulfield, was unplaced at Caulfield, fourth in the Goodwood Handicap-G1 (beaten just over a length) at Morphettville, third – first up – in the Aurie’s Star-G3 at Flemington on 7 August and second on Saturday.
Bred and trained by Robbie Griffiths at Cranbourne, Beltrois is out of the Noalcoholic mare Vaingt Trois, and owners include Shiranee Griffiths, Brian and Peter Donohoe and Don Healy.
With over $340,000 in stakes, you’d be happy with one just like him in your back yard.


Saturday, September 4, 2010


Bluebloods editor, David Bay, has been involved in the thoroughbred industry – both as administrator and observer – for a very long time. Even since he had a full head of hair.
During August, David penned a comprehensive essay on Bel Esprit in recognition of his third successive Victorian Sires’ Premiership and another remarkable season.
For the full article on Eliza Park’s star performer, click here.


STATUE OF LIBERTY has been flying high: both figuratively and literally.
Winging his way down under from Japan (via California), the star son of Storm Cat is producing a flock of winners in preparation for his arrival at Eliza Park where he will again cover a full book of mares.
Although he didn’t have a runner on the first day of spring, his 4YO mare Zip Express duly got the money at Strathalbyn on Thursday (2 September) – her second victory at the course.
But it was in the last 10 days of August that Statue of Liberty gave plenty of notice with a double on the 20th (Golden Star and Knight Spirit – more on them in a tick), another double on the 22nd with Liberty Lady and Beetuna, winners on the 24th (San Sofia) and 25th (The Hamptons), plus winners on the 28th (Supportoftheboard) and 31st (Statue’s Angel).
Terrific run … and to highlight his global appeal, the victories were recorded in six different countries.
Golden Star (aka In The Crown) was a Group One winner in Macau in April and won the Mac$294,300 The Arbitrator (1300m) at Taipa on the 20th, while some 2500kms away, Knight Spirit notched up another impressive victory in Singapore.
Trained by Brian Dean, Knight Spirit was capturing his second straight victory after finishing second on debut.
Singapore Turf Club’s Craig Brennan takes up the tale: Lightly-raced Knight Spirit stamped himself an above average galloper with his victory in the $65,000 Novice Stakes over 1200m.
Ridden closer to the speed than expected, Knight Spirit (ridden by John Powell) scored by three-quarters-of-a-length over Inuvik with Market On Open the same margin away third.
Trainer Brian Dean said it would be a while before Knight Spirit is again seen in a race over 1200m.
“Wait until you see him over 1400m and 1600m,” said Dean. “That win tonight was full of class.
“I knew he would knuckle down late and to win with that weight was a very good effort. He’s a real professional racehorse who just does everything right.
“I’ll give him a little break now, but I can’t wait to get him onto the turf and step him up in distance.”
Dean said his wife Wendy picked out the gelding as a yearling: “I had a look at him when he was a yearling and liked what I saw,” said Dean. “I was lucky enough to be able to buy him.”
Powell who has been aboard the gelding in each of his three starts, said he had to ride Knight Spirit a lot closer to the speed.
“He was ridden upside down,” said Powell. “He’s much better suited being ridden with patience and allowed to finish his race off.
“He’s a smart horse and will be even better off once he steps up to 1400m or a mile. He’s got a nice future.”
Knight Spirit, a 4YO by Statue Of Liberty from the Jackson Square mare Minstrel Lady, took his prizemoney to around $80,000.

Knight Spirit wins at Kranji. Photo courtesy of Singapore Turf Club

Friday, September 3, 2010


Homebred, Cut It Fine, did just that in the Mark Kavanagh Stables Maiden (1000m) at Strathalbyn yesterday but the DELAGO BROM 4YO appears to have his share of ability.
Only having his fourth start for owner/trainer, David Jolly (having run third at Morphettville at his previous outing) Cut It Fine was bred and sold by Eliza Park and is out of the Blazing Sword mare, Slashing Sort.
Now the dam of six winners from seven to race – including the multiple stakes placed Swinging Babe (also third in the Eliza Park Stakes-LR at Moonee Valley) and Melbourne stakes placed Larson – Slashing Sort is a half sister to 3-time stakes winners Carnelian and a close relation of Group Two winning Carringbush.


Deemed this appropriate: albeit not for all members of the family! But hey ... it is the breeding season after all ...

Question is ... is this statue-tory rape or just a monument-al mistake?


Eliza Park’s first season sire, WANTED, is out of the blocks, covering the first of a full book on the second day of the new breeding season (2 September).
The lady having the pleasure of the Newmarket Handicap winner’s company was Woodman mare, Celtic Reign, who just happens to be out of a mare called Tugela.
And if that name sounds family it’s because Tugela is also the dam of Makybe Diva and Group winners Musket and Valkyrie Diva.
Interestingly, Celtic Reign’s Encosta de Lago yearling sold for $400,000 at the 2010 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale.
According to Eliza Park’s General Manger of Operation, David Somers, it was “a good cover, no problems”.
Just like his previous career, Wanted is off and running!


Bill Saunders’ Virtual FormGuide reviews the weekend’s major races in its weekly newsletter (emailed out every Thursday – click here to subscribe).
This week Bill and his crew look at the Makybe Diva Stakes and, believe it or not, their ‘statistical picks’ are often on the money.

This year’s renewal of the Group Two Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) – also known as the Craiglee Stakes – is an exceptionally open race with a host of chances.
However if we use history as a guide, it perhaps narrows down the chances and highlights a couple of runners.
Twelve of the last 17 Craiglee Stakes have been won by horses that contested the JJ Liston Stakes at Caulfield earlier that campaign.
Shocking, Heart Of Dreams, Zavite, C’est La Guerre, Vigor, Mourayan, Sterling Prince and Monaco Consul all back-up from the Liston.
Many of those 12 winners of the Craiglee, finished in the placings in the Liston. With Shoot Out not running and Predatory Pricer sidelined due to illness, Heart Of Dreams (3rd) is the best credentialed horse on historical precedent for Saturday’s race.
Interestingly, five-year-old geldings and older have won the Craiglee 17 times, the same amount of wins since 1965 as four-year-old colts and geldings.
Monaco Consul and Chartreux are the only four-year-olds in this year’s Craiglee and should Monaco Consul win the Craiglee, he’d join the likes of Mahogany, Sovereign Red Dulcify and Tobin Bronze as horses to have won both the VRC Derby and Craiglee Stakes.

The one and only Makybe Diva