Monday, January 31, 2011


DELAGO BROM juvenile, Delago’s Lad, has raced right into contention for the $1 million Blue Diamond Stakes-G1 at Caulfield on 26 February with a blistering victory at Sandown on Saturday.
Racing in the Routley’s Plate over 1000m, Delago’s Lad lowered the boom on the highly rated Boys on Tour and is now currently on the third line of betting for the Diamond.
This was only Delago’s Lad’s second start after finishing a length second to Sepoy in the Maribyrnong Trial Stakes-LR at Flemington, during which the Delago Brom colt copped a decent bump on jumping.
(Sepoy is now favourite for the Blue Diamond following a convincing victory on Australia Day).
Out of the Snaadee mare, Simulation, Delago’s Lad was bred by a couple of lads – the Holburt boys – with Ross Holburt’s Slickpix gracing this website with many of its photos.
Needless to say, Ross had a couple of photos of Delago’s Lad to share with us! (and none of them were blurry, despite Ross’ obvious thrill at Saturday’s victory).
The Holburts are actually banner boys for Delago Brom, racing three of his progeny to date with each of them winning.
Indeed, Simulation has paid three visits to Delago Brom with the first result being the NSW trained Brom’s Girl (8 wins), followed by John Smerdon’s developing stayer Delagation and now Delago’s Lad who could eclipse them all.
(Simulation visited Bel Esprit last spring).
Not surprisingly, Delago’s Lad was sold to John McArdle for $75,000 – over 10 times service fee – at the 2010 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale and, as you can see from the accompanying photos, he looks to be worth every cent.
There’s no question that Delago Brom – an equine Adonis in his own right – can certainly stamp his stock.
According to Ross, Delago’s Lad will now tackle the $250,000 Inglis Premier at Mornington on 16 February: “All going well, he’ll then head to Caulfield for the Blue Diamond 10 days later.
“John (McArdle) also has the VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes-G2 in mind (12 March) but he’ll obviously need the run in between the Inglis Classic and VRC Sires’.”
Not bad Ross … using a $1 million race as a lead up!

Photos courtesy of Slickpix ... who else!!


Fitting tribute to one of the industry greats when Jack Styring was given the nod for the inaugural Racing Victoria Distinguished Service Award.
The gong has been struck to honour ‘stalwarts within the thoroughbred racing industry’ and they don’t come much more stalwart than Jack.
We’ll leave it – for the moment – to Racing Victoria to describe why Jack got the nod.

The Racing Victoria Distinguished Service Award acknowledges those who have made a sustained and outstanding contribution to the sport within Victoria.
The Award will be open to individuals who have excelled on and off the track and takes into consideration a person's longevity, integrity, commitment, passion and achievements.
Styring, at the tender age of 81, called his final race at the Yea Cup meeting on 29 January. It brought to an end a racecalling career that has spanned more than 60 years.
During that time, the iconic broadcaster has called at countless tracks throughout Victoria and interstate, and also participated in the industry as a studmaster, breeder and owner (not to mention his voluminous contribution as a racing journalist and historian).
Amongst his calling achievements are seven Melbourne Cups and a staggering 60 Gunbower Cups from 1952-2010 – a feat recognised by the Guinness Book of Records.
“The Racing Victoria Distinguished Service Award has been created to recognise those individuals who have dedicated their lives to the Victorian thoroughbred racing industry and left an indelible mark,” RV Chief Operating Officer, Bernard Saundry, said.
“The Distinguished Service Award provides the industry with a unique opportunity to say thank you to those administrators, owners, breeders, trainers and jockeys who have made an outstanding contribution to the sport over a period of greater than 30 years.
“Jack Styring is a fitting inaugural recipient of the Distinguished Service Award. He called his first Victorian thoroughbred race at Kaniva in 1950 and he has been entertaining crowds with his colourful commentary at tracks across the state ever since.
“Jack is a man of outstanding character whose love and passion of thoroughbred racing is unquestioned and we are pleased to be able to recognise his commitment to the sport with the presentation of this Award.”

On a personal note, Jack has also been a wonderful supporter of Eliza Park and a valued friend to this humble scribe.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


BEL ESPRIT notched up his third winner in New Zealand on Friday when Mum’s Apparition scored over 1200m at Te Aroha (after running third at her previous outing).
Bred by David O’Callaghan and sold by Eliza Park at the Magic Millions Weanling Sale, Mum’s Apparition is out of the Encosta de Lago mare Virtual, a daughter of stakes winner Lady in Reality, a half sister to the dam of 4-time Group winner Blazing Reality.
Good timing … Seaton Park will sell a Bel Esprit colt – closely related to Victoria Derby-G1 winner Amalfi – at Karaka tomorrow [Lot 25].


The ‘old firm’ was back in action on Friday night and while Bart Cummings and Dato Tan Chin Nam have celebrated bigger wins than the Canterbury Park Handicap, they would have been delighted with the victory of GOD’S OWN 3YO Kim Divine.
Picked up by Bart at the 2009 Inglis Sydney Classic Yearling Sale for $60,000, Kim Divine hasn’t exactly experienced the best of luck in his career to date and the comfortable win on Friday night was well deserved.
Out of the winning Cadeaux Genereux mare Cavita, in turn out of a half sister to French Group winners Kassani and Kassana (dam of Irish St Leger-G1 winner Kastroria), this is also the family of Epsom and Irish Derby winner Kahyasi.


Not too good at the tipping caper but we’re predicting you won’t be seeing this foal running down the Flemington straight any time soon (unless of course it’s in one of those novelty events).
The foal was born at a farm in South Western Victoria and our thanks to Aileen Atkinson for sending them through.

Friday, January 28, 2011


Terrific win last night by BEL ESPRIT filly in the Aceland Stud Thousand Guineas over 1600m at Launceston.
Trained by Darren Weir and ridden by local hoop Brendon McCoull, Cyberhorse’s Carl Di Iorio writes that Le Bel Away settled in a midfield position before moving through the field swiftly to lead the field into the straight with a furlong remaining.
Race favourite, the Lee Freedman-trained Exchanges, made a late charge but couldn’t overhaul the daughter of Bel Esprit.
Le Bel Away has raced six times for three wins (winning at Morphettvile prior to tripping to the Apple Isle) and a placing with prizemoney now in excess of $45,000.
Out of the King of Kings mare Let’s Fly Away, Le Bel Away was bred by Menzies Racing Stables and is out a winning half sister to Group Two winner Mr Martini from the family of Strawberry Road.
Let’s Fly Away has a Magnus colt at foot and coupled with last night’s victory and the rising attraction of his sire, he’s bound to be hot property when and if he goes through a sale ring.

The Thousand Guineas was sponsored by Alwyn ‘Ace’ Shaw whose Aceland Stud is progessing at lightning speed due to the energy and enthusiasm of its owner.
Aceland will consign four yearlings to Magic Millions Tasmania on 22 February including a MAGNUS filly [Lot 23] from the brilliant racemare and successful producer Raven’s Pal. It’s the only Magnus to be offered in Tasmania this year.


Speaking of the Tasmanian Yearling Sale, CLANGALANG continues to go gangbusters in the Apple Isle and will have four of his youngsters among the 160 strong catalogue on Tuesday 22 February.
With Clangalang’s runners including Tasmanian Derby-G3 winner Geegees Blackflash, Bavarian Belle, Mr Isaac and Prince Obama – all metrop winners in Tasmania – North Lad notched up his second win at Launceston last night, taking out the Ron Evans Memorial (1200m) in comfortable fashion.
North Lad has now won twice, but also placed on a further 10 occasions, from just 19 outings.
Bred by Ron Ferrari, North Lad is out of the Centaine mare Centlee, a sister to Kiwi stakes winner Centaleigh.

Eliza Park will offer a Clangalang colt from Fasliyev mare Perfect Fasique [Lot 10] in Tasmania which is sure to garner plenty of attention.
Clangalang topped the sale last year when his colt from Genuine Blonde was sold for $80,000 and this year’s offering is out of a half sister to Champion filly Northwood Plume.


Huge run by WRITTEN TYCOON’s Written Consent at Warwick Farm on Australia Day.
Stepping out for the first time, Written Consent is trained at Randwick by Grahame Begg and is owned by his father Neville, and partners.
Mark our words: this colt has a heap of potential. First out of the gates, but trapped wide, he had to settle back with the pack and, making his run in the straight was clearly hampered by the eventual winner, Shared Reflections over the final stages – missing out by three quarters of length.
Having ridden several thousand winners from the grandstand, it’s beyond me why they didn’t protest, but no harm done … plenty of trophies in store for this boy.
Written Consent is out of the Octagonal mare Hill Street Blues (a daughter of Blue Diamond runnerup Danari, a half sister to Group Two winner Spurn) and was snapped up by Neville Begg for $26,000 at the 2010 Scone Yearling Sale.
And here’s a bit of trivia for you : Grahame Begg purchased Written Tycoon at the 2004 Gold Coast Magic Millions for $50,000 and trained the colt to a victory in the Todman Slipper-G2 and a brilliant second in the San Domenico Stakes-G3 at Randwick (beating home Snitzel, Stratum, Mnemosyne and Bradbury’s Luck) before the colt was shifted to John O’Shea.

Keep your eye out for the Written Tycoons in the coming weeks, including the Peter Morgan trained Printed who is making his debut at Sandown tomorrow. Only two had started prior to Wednesday (including the Lee Freedman trained Masthead) but he’s had a host of trial winners and there’s evidently a VERY good one called Prestigious Miss waiting in the wings … ‘across the pond’.


The folk at Lauriston Lodge send through some beauties and this latest offering ranks right up there.
The following photos are evidently sourced from two churches facing each other across a busy street ...



A few more from Lauriston ...

How to tell if a Catholic is driving too fast ...
 Jewish Olympic swimmer ...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Eliza Park’s first season sire, MAGNUS, has lived right up to his noble name by topping the 2011 Inglis Sydney Classic Yearling Sale with the flashy filly from Coconut Mamma (below).
Knocked down to Blue Sky Thoroughbreds for $170,000 during today’s third and final session, the yearling is closely related to Group One winners Tuesday Joy and Sunday Joy (the dam of Gai Waterhouse’s multiple Group One winning filly More Joyous) and was bred by Dean Fleming, brother of Eliza Park principal, Lee.
A Group One winning sprinter (AJC The Galaxy-G1 and now Group One VRC Age Classic), Magnus featured in the first four in no less than 10 of racing’s ‘elite’ events and also campaigned in both England and Singapore.
A son of Flying Spur, Magnus is out of the Group Two winner Scandinavia and a half brother to the dam of the world’s No. 1 sprinter, Black Caviar.
Magnus shares his moniker with the first six kings of Norway (his granddam is Song Of Norway) and the name, loosely translated from Latin, means ‘great’.
And it’s certainly been a great start to his selling career! Indeed, Eliza Park could not have hoped for a better launch with his yearlings selling up to $120,000 at last week’s Gold Coast Magic Millions, auguring well for the 2011 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale where over 30 of the Magnus yearlings will be on offer.

Magnus stands at Eliza Park in conjunction with Yallambee Stud


Breednet’s Tara Madgwick had this to say about the Magnus sale topper at the Sydney Classic.

At a sale where the average price is just $33,927 you could be forgiven for thinking it would be just the buyers doing the smiling, but at the 2011 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale this week there were some vendors well pleased with their return.
Eliza Park gave their young sire MAGNUS the best possible advertising he could get in presenting a top class filly by him from a mare with a pedigree that screams Easter, so it was no surprise to anyone when this first foal of Coconut Mamma fetched $170,000 to top the sale when bought by Blue Sky Thoroughbreds.
Bred by Dean Fleming, who also bred her mother, the filly offered a rare way into the celebrated Joie Denise female family that is owned almost exclusively by John Singleton.
Mr Fleming sold Joie, the dam of Coconut Mamma for $300,000 at the 2009 Inglis Broodmare Sale with Singo adding the mare to his collection, while Coconut Mamma was retained by Mr Fleming to breed on with.
Given Magnus stood at a fee of $27,500 in his debut season, the sale of this filly can only be seen as a positive and profitable experience for all.


There’s an old saying that success has many fathers and failure is an orphan.
Well, with a win and a third from her only two outings, Mega Miss is no orphan and she’s definitely got lots of fathers beside her ‘biological’, Invincible Spirit.
Bred and owned by Andrew Goldman, Ash Saad, Tim White, Trevor Johnston, Wanda O’Neill, Ted Laskie, Jeff & Carol Stevens, Ryan McIver, June Anderson and Ben Dymond, she’s also carrying the not inconsiderable weight of the Eliza Park racing crew, headed up by trainer Sue Ellis.
A half sister to three winners, including Adelaide stakes winner Periduki (14 wins), Mega Miss is from the Snippets mare Miduki, who hails from the family of Planet Kingdom. Miduki has a colt at foot by Victoria’s Champion Sire, Bel Esprit and is currently in foal to Hay List’s sire, Statue of Liberty.
Mega Miss still got a fair way to go to live up to such illustrious company, but for a first campaign, she’s progressing well – thank you very much.
Making her debut at Werribee on 10 December, she led them up for much of the journey before fading to finish third, but they weren’t going to catch her at Terang on Monday (24 January), racing away to score comfortably over the 1000m in a slick 58.3 secs on a dead track.
“It was a tremendous thrill for everyone,” Sue Ellis points out. “These owners have been pretty patient allowing time for this filly to mature and they are a good group of people who really appreciate having a winning horse.”


When is it going to end … first you have 64 year old, Neville Wilson, riding a treble at Warrnambool in December and then you have Norm Stephens declaring that he’s going to hang up his (trackwork) saddle in March … at the age of 80!
The Courier Mail’s Bart Sinclair takes up the tale:

HOLD the presses! Here’s a massive story. Norm Stephens has declared (make that promised) he will stop riding trackwork at Deagon on March 17, his 80th birthday.
Stephens still trains a couple of horses at Deagon and rises every morning at 2am.
He is first on the track six mornings a week and usually is home by the time most others in racing in the area are still getting ready to start work.
“I started riding work at Deagon as an apprentice when I was 12,” said Stephens (below), who is light enough and fit enough to still be race riding.
I always thought ‘Whopper’, as he has been known since he first started in racing because of his tiny stature, would have to give up riding racehorses one day. I just didn't think it would be a voluntary decision.
Let’s hope he maintains his connection to racing as a trainer for many years yet.

Just as a matter of interest, when Whopper first started riding in 1943 King George VI was the reigning monarch (see the King’s Speech … it’s brilliant), John Curtin was our 14th Prime Minister (we’ve now got our 27th), World War II still had two years to run, Casablanca won the Oscar for best picture, Richmond won the flag (they’ve won since, right?) and Carbine’s great-great grandson, Dark Felt, won the Melbourne Cup.

Monday, January 24, 2011


Sounds like something out of Hogan’s Heroes

The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility.
As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5-year phase-in plan that would become known as ‘Euro-English’.
In the first year, ‘s’ will replace the soft ‘c’. Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy. The hard ’c’ will be dropped in favour of ‘k’. This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter.
There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome ‘ph’ will be replaced with ’f’. This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter.
In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.

Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent ‘e’ in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away.
By the 4th yer people wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing ‘th’ with ‘z’ and ‘w’ with ‘v’.
During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary ‘o’ kan be dropd from vordskontaining ‘ou’ and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensi bl riten styl.
Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi TU understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru.
Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas.

Just don’t mention the war …


In a buoyant opening session for the 2011 Inglis Sydney Classic Yearling Sale, the highlight of the Eliza Park triumvirate was the WRITTEN TYCOON filly sold to leading trainer Mike Moroney for $45,000.
Despite limited racetrack representation thus far (albeit a host of highly impressive trial winners), Written Tycoon is very popular among buyers and his only yearling at the recent Gold Coast Magic Millions was knocked down to Aquanita Racing for $100,000 – over 10 times service fee.
The Written Tycoon colt sold yesterday hails from the Marquetry mare, Mrs Shine, a half sister to nine winners including stakes winner Handsome Ransom and Danajaya.

The Written Tycoon - Mrs Shine yearling purchased by Mike Moroney

Friday, January 21, 2011

BEL’S 22 IN 30

According to Breednet Weekly, BEL ESPRIT is Australia’s No. 1 sire for the past 30 days in terms of wins.
Victoria’s Champion Sire has produced the winners of 22 races, ahead of Commands (20), Flying Spur (20), Pins (20) and General Nediym (19).
Bel Esprit’s strike rate was helped considerably by a treble on Monday – Canna at Toowoomba (his third win on the trot), plus a double at Wangaratta to Beltonic and Bellatheball.
Bel Esprit has two starters in the Kensington Stakes-LR at Flemington tomorrow in Waltzes and Silver Bullion.
Waltzes – with two wins and a third at Moonee Valley at his past three starts – is aiming to become his sire’s 11th stakes winner while Silver Bullion (below) – who won the race last year – is fresh from a win at Moonee Valley on 31 December.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


BEL ESPRIT’s Peach Tree (below) is clearly one of the most exciting horses in the West … has been for some time.
Recording her fifth city win yesterday – first up from a spell – the command performance followed up from a neck second in the Belmont Oaks-LR (2000m) in July and a resounding victory in the Belmont Classic-LR (2200m) a fortnight later.
So, to win on a resumption over 1100m among quality rivals, speaks volumes for her quality.
Yes, she’s pretty darn good and while her return to the stage would have pleased connections (who have had their initial $75,000 yearling investment more than trebled), the victory was also music to the ears of her breeder, Kevin Sheedy.
After all, the AFL legend will be selling – via the Eliza Park draft – a full sister to Peach Tree at the upcoming Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.
Indeed, the Bel Esprit filly from Naturalism mare, Georgia, enters the Oaklands Junction ring as Lot 3 on the morning of 28 February and will undoubtedly put a few more bums on seats.
Georgia’s stud record weighs heavily in favour of a potential buyer given that she’s had five to the races for five winners (three of them by Bel Esprit).
This is also the family of Champion filly Triscay and Group One winner La Baraka.
Perth Racing has this to say about the “bomb proof” mare: “Versatile Peach Tree returned to racing in a blaze of glory at Ascot on Saturday, when coming from a rearward position to defeat her more fancied rivals in the Bonaire Sprint (1100m).
“Peach Tree did catch the eye in a recent Lark Hill barrier trial, but with in-form gallopers Werd, Golden Heart and Henry De Horse among the seven horse field, punters regarded her as an each way chance at best.
Race favourite Werd assumed the role as pace maker, but Henry De Horse made him work fairly solidly early in the race, before he was able to eventually find the fence.
“Top jockey William Pike had Peach Tree settled at the rear of the field, but when he pushed the go button in the home straight she exploded with a devastating turn of foot.”
See you at Oaklands Junction!

Another one away
Another impressive Bel Esprit victory yesterday was that of Le Bel Away, who flew away with the Adelaide Casino Adelaide Cup March 14th Handicap over 1800m at Morphettville (they’d almost turned for home by the time they could spit out that name!).
A classy 3YO filly who was only stepping out for the fifth time, the Darren Weir trained youngster won her maiden in Victoria in December and was having her first outing in South Australia.
Out of the King of Kings mare Let’s Fly Away – a half sister to Melbourne Group Two winner Mr Martini and related to Champion Strawberry Road – Le Bel Away was bred by highly successful art dealer, Rod Menzies.


Christmas 2010 heralded a turning point for CLANGALANG who has popped up with a number of winners, plus stakes horses in the past few weeks.
The appropriately named Ho Ho Life (below) has paralleled the form with a neat victory at Hong Kong’s Happy Valley on Wednesday (12 January) for trainer CH Yip.
A 4YO gelding from the Seattle Dancer mare Gaelic Jig, Ho Ho Life was exported to Hong Kong in November 2009 after his only two starts in Australia resulted in a Ballarat victory and third at Cranbourne.
And while it took him a bit more time to find his feet in Hong Kong, Ho Ho Life has – this season – compiled two seconds and two wins from as many outings.
Sold for just $3,000 in Adelaide three years ago, Ho Ho Life has now won over $HK1m (approx $A130,000).

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Black Caviar trainer snaps up first Magnus

Brilliant sprinter, MAGNUS, has made a huge impact on the Gold Coast with his first crop of yearlings selling for six figures at today’s opening session of the Magic Millions.
Not surprisingly, it was champion trainer, Peter Moody, who won out on the flashy Magnus colt from Coniston Gem (Lot 78), paying $120,000 for the first foal of the Flemington Group winner.
Moody – who trained Magnus throughout his illustrious career has the added impetus that his unbeaten mare, Black Caviar, is out of a half sister to Magnus!
Immediately following the sale, Moody commented that the colt: “is a striking type … very much like his sire. Having looked at the Magnus’ up here and quite a few of his yearlings overall, it appears the acorn hasn’t fallen far from the tree.”
The only other Magnus colt to make an appearance on day one was yearling from Discretionary, a half sister to juvenile Group winners Doubting and Special Edition.
Entering the ring as Lot 124, the Magnus colt was eventually knocked down for $100,000 and he too will be heading back to Victoria and into the stables of another champion trainer in Lee Freedman.
Both Magnus yearlings were sold through the Eliza Park draft which will sell another of his colts, this one from the well bred Redoute’s Choice mare Obbligato, coming into the ring as Lot 385, the final lot of tomorrow’s session.
MAGNUS colt from Coniston Gem : sold to Peter Moody for $120k.


Hot on the hoof of today’s news that BEL ESPRIT’s girl Black Caviar is now “officially the No. 1 sprinter in the world” comes the word that Hay List is on the comeback trail. The Herald Sun’s Tim Habel provides the lowdown on an autumn high while Nicole Garmston took the pic.

Trainer John McNair is not shying away from his star sprinter Hay List taking on great rival Black Caviar again soon.
Perhaps even as soon as next month’s Lightning Stakes.
A gallop between races at Gosford on Thursday will be pivotal in McNair’s planning, which could include a trip to Dubai in March for the $2 million Golden Shaheen (1200m).
Unbeaten Black Caviar and Hay List (STATUE OF LIBERTY), who won his first three Melbourne starts, clashed for the first time in the Patinack Farm Classic on the final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival last year.
But the touted match race was a fizzer, with Black Caviar strolling home while Hay List finished a career-worst sixth in the seven-horse field, beaten 11.5 lengths.
Many attributed the performance to the effects of a pre-race injury. Hay List lashed out at a water trough in the week before the race and hurt his leg, the wound requiring stitches.
“The injury was worse than we thought and there was an infection when the stitches burst,” McNair said.
“(But) I’m less confident of beating her (Black Caviar) after the sensational sectionals she ran that day.
“It will be interesting to see them both at their best at 1200m and 1400m. If there is as any disadvantage for us it would be 1000m.
“He’s got to prove he’s back to his best, but he gives me a better feel now than he ever has. The gallop at Gosford will let us know where we are.”
Regular rider Glyn Schofield will ride Hay List, a winner of 12 of his 15 starts, in the exhibition gallop.
Depending on the outcome, McNair said the Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on February 5 or Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on February 19 would be the first-up race.
The $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen on March 27 was also an option, McNair said.
“It’s worth more than the Newmarket. The race is run on sand (the artificial Tapeta surface) and he does all his work on sand,” McNair said.
But he said if the Newmarket became the main goal, he would consider it a first or second-up run.
“If we were deadly serious about the Newmarket you would nearly go first-up because we would meet Black Caviar better at the weights,” he said.


Australian racing’s superstars Black Caviar and So You Think have achieved worldwide acclaim following the release of the 2010 World Thoroughbred Rankings (WTR) by the International Federation of Horse Authorities in London last night (AEST).
Unbeaten Victorian speedster Black Caviar (BEL ESPRIT) has been officially rated the Champion Sprinter of the World, while So You Think has been rated Equal Champion Intermediate (Middle Distance) Turf Performer of the World alongside Irish star Rip Van Winkle.
In a unique circumstance, So You Think has also been rated the Champion Stayer of the World for his third placing in the Emirates Melbourne Cup in which he carried 56kg as a 4YO, conceding weight to race winner Americain in the world’s premier staying race.
The 2010 World Thoroughbred Rankings take into account all performances throughout the world, irrespective of where individual horses raced or were trained, during the calendar year.
To merit inclusion in the rankings, a horse must have been rated at 115 or above in the period under review.
Of the 329 to make the rankings in 2010, 43 were Australian-trained, whilst a further 10 Australian-bred horses raced abroad with great distinction.
In a landmark year for Australian racing, the Peter Moody-trained Black Caviar and Bart Cummings-trained So You Think both achieved record ratings.
Greg Carpenter, Chairman of the Australian Racing Board’s ANZ Classifications Committee and the ARB’s representative on the WTR Committee, said the rankings gave cause for celebration.
“The 2010 World Thoroughbred Rankings are a wonderful advertisement for the quality of Australia’s racing and breeding industries,” Carpenter said.
“The respect for Australian racing on the world stage can only prosper through the achievements of horses like Black Caviar and So You Think. “
To have the Champion Sprinter, Intermediate and Stayer of the World is an outstanding result and what’s most pleasing is that their record performances came here in Australia during the Spring Racing Carnival, not whilst competing overseas.
“There was fruitful discussion at the World Rankings Conference in Hong Kong about Black Caviar, So You Think and also Hay List (STATUE OF LIBERTY) and I was pleased to be able to articulate the merits of their performances to the other delegates.”


Four-year-old mare Black Caviar (above) achieved a rating of 123 when stretching her unbeaten record to eight with a stunning victory in the Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) at Flemington in November.
Her rating was the highest ever by an Australian trained sprinter, eclipsing the 122 rating achieved by both Scenic Blast (2009) and Weekend Hussler (2008) in the two previous years, and led a domination of world sprinting by Australian-bred thoroughbreds in 2010.
Five of the top six sprinters in the world were bred in Australia with Hong Kong-trained Sacred Kingdom (121), Singapore-trained Rocket Man (121), Ireland-trained Starspangledbanner (121) and NSW speedster Hay List (120) proving wonderful ambassadors for the Australian breeding industry.
South African star JJ The Jet Plane, who rated 122 in winning December’s Hong Kong International Sprint, was the only sprinter bred outside Australia in the top six.
Former Victorian sprinter Starspangledbanner, a Group 1 sprint winner in both hemispheres during 2010, was afforded the honour of Champion 3YO Sprinter of the World. Black Caviar, who returned to Peter Moody’s stables this week, will be the headline act during February and March’s lucrative Melbourne Festival of Racing.
She is slated to resume in the Group 1 Coolmore Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on 19 February.


The top rated horse for 2010 was English sensation Harbinger who achieved a rating of 135 before a fractured cannon bone stalled his meteoric rise and forced his retirement in August.
Trained by Sir Michael Stoute and part-owned by Australian interests, Harbinger achieved his rating when beating a star-studded field in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2400m) by 11 lengths at Ascot in July.
Harbinger’s rating of 135 is just one less than that given to champion Irish colt Sea The Stars 12 months prior during his unbeaten three-year-old reign.
USA Breeders Classic (Dirt) winner Blame, the only horse to defeat glamour mare Zenyatta, was next in the rankings on 129, with Epsom Derby and Arc de Triomphe winner Workforce, star French three-year-old Makfi and American star Quality Road on 128.
Japan’s Arc De Triomphe runner-up Nakayama Festa and brilliant English three-year-old Canford Cliffs, a winner of the Irish 2000 Guineas and Sussex Stakes, were rated 127.
Rated alongside So You Think on 126 was the Aidan O’Brien-trained stablemates, Irish Derby winner Cape Blanco and Juddmonte International Stakes winner Rip Van Winkle.


The release of the 2010 World Thoroughbred Rankings served to confirm the Emirates Melbourne Cup’s billing as the world’s premier staying race, whilst franking November’s 150th edition as the best in history.
Taking into account the handicap conditions, four-year-old So You Think was afforded a rating of 122 for his third placing making him Champion Stayer of the World.
Cup winner Americain, who carried less weight than his younger rival, achieved a rating of 121 which was the second highest mark afforded a horse in a race greater than 2700 metres.
Both performances were rated superior to Arctic Cosmos’ (120) win in the English St Leger, Sans Frontieres’ (120) victory in the Irish St Leger, Jaguar Mail’s (118) win in Japan’s Tenno Sho (Spring) and the Ascot Gold Cup win of Rite Of Passage (118).
“The rankings confirm the Emirates Melbourne Cup’s standing as the world’s best staying race, with 2010 the highest rated edition by a considerable margin,” Carpenter said.
“The reason So You Think rated higher than Americain, is because he conceded his older rival 3kg, that being 1.5kg in actual weight plus a four-year-old weight-for-age allowance of 1.5kg, which equates to about 5.5 lengths over 3200 metres,” he explained.
“In finishing only 3.25 lengths from Americain So You Think ran to a higher rating in the Cup, even allowing a discretionary element for the ease of the French horse’s victory.”
Looking ahead to this year, the World Thoroughbred Rankings provide a source of interest with four internationals featured within already on Australian soil in preparation for the 2011 Spring Racing Carnival.
Midas Touch (118) and At First Sight (115) have both been purchased by Lloyd Williams; Glass Harmonium (115) has been acquired by clients of trainer Mike Moroney; whilst UK stayer Tactic (117) has been transferred to David Hayes.


The total number of Australian-trained horses to make the World Thoroughbred Rankings dropped from 50 to 43 in 2010, but Carpenter explained that there’s more to the story.
“Whilst there was a reduction, it is clearly the second highest tally we’ve achieved and there are mitigating factors,” he said.
“The dominance of horses like So You Think and Black Caviar meant the spread of feature winners was less than previous years, plus we saw horses trained outside Australia in Americain, Lion Tamer and Wall Street winning Group 1 races here.
“It is also important to note that the number of Australian-trained horses to rate 120 or greater continues to grow. We had five horses in this elite category in 2010, up from four the year prior and just two in 2008, which is a most pleasing progression.”
Joining So You Think, Black Caviar and Hay List in the elite category were Cox Plate placegetters Zipping and Whobegotyou who both rated 120.

Total Number of Australian Trained Horses Rated 115+

2010 [43]
2009 [50]
2008 [36]
2007/08 [33]
2006/07 [29]
2005/06 [16]
2004/05 [9]

For a full list of the 2010 World Thoroughbred Rankings click here


Local Queenslanders have set up donation points and bank accounts to receive donations to assist horse owners affected by the devastating Queensland floods.
“Although we are getting flooded in South East Queensland now, a lot of people in Rockhampton have been flooded out of their homes for nearly three weeks,” says Katy Driver of Caboonbah Stud. “The water has only dropped about 6 inches in last week so still a long time before they can get back to their houses to start the clean up as most are still under water.”
Katy herself is surrounded by water, cut off on all sides, but says she is “safe on a hill”. In an online post she writes about most of her town being underwater and tremendous stock losses.
“Major flash flooding, lot of people I (have) not been able to get hold of and only had short notice they had to evacuate, lots of families and children missing. A big wall of water came through at the last moment wiping out most things. Lot of livestock lost.”
Katy has organised ROCKY FEED AND SEED in Rockhampton to get whatever feed required out to the Rockhampton Showgrounds for horse owners stranded by the floods.
“There are a lot of people stranded still at the showgrounds with their horses and (they) have lost most of their things,” she says. “These are the people I want to get help for. Even when they can get home they will have no grass and lost all their feed supplies. They haven’t been able to work so have no income to help cover the costs of their lives let alone their horses, but all of them have their horses as their first priority. Some are eligible for government help but that doesn’t cover their horses and would only barely help them survive.”
Katy says donations can be made directly to the ROCKY FEED AND SEED bank account. She and a friend are working at the Showground end to make sure donated feed is distributed evenly amongst horses stranded there.
“All we need to do is put the money in their bank account,” she says. “Even if you can only afford $25 - $30 that is a bag of feed or at least few bales of hay to help.”
SE QLD Horse Rescue has also set up donation points to help horse owners affected by the floods in other affected areas. They have a SE QLD Horse Rescue FaceBook page with regular updates and are asking people to donate what they can: feed, agistment, transport, vet care etc.
Donations and Contacts: To help horses owners stranded at Rockhampton you can make a donation directly to Rocky Feed and Seed:
BSB: 034 210  ACC#: 219110
Once a donation has been made please email Katy at and let her know how much has been paid into the account.
Katy will update Rocky Feed and Seed daily to let them know how much feed can be taken out to the showgrounds.
Her contact at the showgrounds will ensure the distribution.


Up and coming trainer Luke Oliver appears to have a very handy type on his books in Tuesday’s winner Ferreus.
A lightly raced 3YO by CLANGALANG, Ferreus was recording his second win on the trot having run a neck second on debut.
Out of the Desert Sun mare, Eliza Dream, a half sister to Danbird stakes horse Royal Dalton, this is also the family of Group One winning 2YO Select Prince.
Also keep your eye on the GOD’S OWN youngster, Onamissionfromgod, who put a resounding third behind Ferreus after missing the start.

It’s certainly been a big couple of weeks for Clangalang with Duplify winning on Boxing Day, while Lakedro was stakes placed at Caulfield and Eagle was Group One placed in Penang.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Industry commentator and author, Kristen Manning, has recently released a weekly newsletter on all (thoroughbred) matters Victorian which is free to subscribe to ( - you don’t get much for naught these days!).
Recently Kristen penned an overview of the Eliza Park draft for the 2011 Inglis Sydney Classic Yearling Sale which commences on 23 January).

Lot 7 br.c God’s Own - Instinctive (by Naturalism): dam, a half sister to the dual Gr.1 winner Skating, has produced four winners including the Listed winner Umaprince (22 wins), the multiple city winner Superior Instinct and the six times provincial winner Regal Instinct. Family of the stakes winners Murtajill, Sunset Run, Bradbury’s Luck, Juste Momente and Congressman.

Lot 35 br.c God’s Own - Lady Franc (by Grosvenor): half brother to the promising city winner Bel Franc out of a half sister to the dual Gr.1 winner Western Red. Related to the stakes winners Elegance, Forecast and Royal Encore.

Lot 101 ch.c Written Tycoon - Mrs Shine (by Marquetry): by promising young stallion whose first crop are showing considerable promise out of a half sister to the Gr.3 winner Handsome Ransom and the Listed winner Danajaya.

Lot 153 b.f God’s Own - Portland Park (by Woodman): dam is a daughter of the triple Gr.1 winner Spirit Of Kingston, dam of the VRC Derby winner Portland Player and grandam of the Gr.1 juvenile Coup de Grace and the Edward Manifold Stakes winner Coupe. Spirit Of Kingston’s half sister Rose Of Kingston earned the Australian Horse Of The Year title and produced the Melbourne Cup winner Kingston Rule.

Lot 211 b.c God’s Own - Saint Barbara (by Royal Academy): second foal of a city winning daughter of the metropolitan winner Northwood Lady whose dam is the Gr.3 Debutante Stakes winner Seaside Lady. Boasts an interesting pedigree, his sire and dam hailing from the same family - both descendants of Taj Rossi’s dam Dark Queen.

Lot 301 ch.f Written Tycoon - Turtle Dove (by Bluebird): half sister to five winners including the Gr.1 placed Lords A Leaping and the city winner Ladies Dancing. Family of the NZ Derby winner Coniston Bluebird and her third dam is the San Domenico Stakes winner Quiet Little Drink.

Lot 437 b/br.f Magnus - Coconut Mamma (by Fantastic Light): first foal of a daughter of the stakes placed Joie whose dam is the Queenland Oaks winner Joie Denise - in turn daughter of the wonderful mare Denise’s Joy. This is the prolific Gr.1 family of Tuesday Joy, Sunday Joy, More Joyous, Euphoria, Arlington Road, Thorn Park and Bentley Biscuit.

The flashy Written Tycoon x Turtle Dove filly - half sister to 5 winners


Ed and Nancy met while on a singles cruise and Ed fell head over heels for her.
When they discovered they lived in the same city only a few miles apart Ed was ecstatic.
He immediately started asking her out when they got home.
Within a couple of weeks, Ed had taken Nancy to dance clubs, restaurants, concerts, movies, and museums. Ed became convinced that Nancy was indeed his soul mate and true love. Every date seemed better than the last.
On the one-month anniversary of their first dinner on the cruise ship, Ed took Nancy to a fine restaurant.
While having cocktails and waiting for their salad, Ed said: “I guess you can tell I’m very much in love with you. I’d like a little serious talk before our relationship continues to the next stage.
“So, before I get a box out of my jacket and ask you a life changing question, it’s only fair to warn you, I’m a total golf nut. I play golf, I read about golf, I watch golf on TV. In short, I eat, sleep, and breathe golf. If that’s going to be a problem for us, you’d better say so now!”
Nancy took a deep breath and responded: “Ed, that certainly won’t be a problem. I love you as you are and I love golf too; but, since we’re being totally honest with each other, you need to know that for the last five years I’ve been a hooker.”
“Oh wow! I see,” Ed replied. He looked down at the table, was quiet for a moment. Deep in serious thought then he added, “You know, it’s probably because you’re not keeping your wrists straight when you hit the ball.”

Friday, January 7, 2011


Michelle Page from the Magic Millions sent through these photos of Callaghan Park racecourse in Rockhamtpon: a grim reminder of the devastation wrought in the flood ravaged region.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


The Moonee Valley Racing Club – innovative as ever – has seen fit to stage the Essendon Mazda 55 Second Challenge over the course of 18 night race meetings to find the quickest horse over 955m.
The trainer of the horse running the fastest time will receive a Mazda CX9 Classic (valued at $55,000) from Essendon Mazda*, while the jockey on the nippiest steed will snap up $10,000 for his troubles.
The big question is … will the 55 second mark be broken? Well, the series is now at its half way point with the ninth heat on the last day of the year taken out by popular Bel Esprit sprinter, La Bella Roo in the fastest time to date of 55.48 seconds.
Raced by members of the Kangaroo Flat Bowling Club, La Bella Roo has been in scintillating form of late with a win at Caulfield on 15 December followed two days later by a bee’s appendage second over 1000m at the Valley after being held up for a run at a vital stage.
The mare has now won six races and placed on seven occasions for $144,291 in stakes.
However, for Bel Esprit’s rapidly expanding fan base, the good news is that the three fastest ’55 Challenge’ times recorded to date: La Bella Roo (55.48 seconds on 31 December), Waltzes (55.62 seconds on 29 October) and Esprit de Bullet (55.75 seconds on 3 December) all come courtesy of Victoria’s Champion Sire.
Not only does his daughter Black Caviar reign supreme in terms of world rankings, Bel Esprit is also clearly the king of Moonee Valley sprints!

La Bella Roo - photo courtesy of Slickpix

Gold to Silver

While we’re on the subject, the blistering finish of Silver Bullion at Moonee Valley last Friday night (31 December) was simply awesome.
A stakes winner in his own right – taking out the Kensington Stakes-LR at Flemington last January – the Dr Vu Van Tu and Amanda Lockett owned and bred sprinter was 100/1 coming into the Valley straight with a wall of horses in front (one of them being the aforementioned Waltzes who is clearly no slouch over short courses).
Almost looking like he was heading for the car park when turning for home, Silver Bullion hit top gear quicker than Stig in a Ferrari (or should we say a Mazda CX9?), running past his rivals like they’d stopped and getting up right on the wire. Huge performance.
Who knows? Silver Bullion might just be the horse to break the 55 seconds when they next race at Moonee Valley on 14 January.

* Essendon Mazda is owned by Joe Cucuzza, a great supporter of the industry both as a breeder and owner.

Silver Bullion - photo courtesy of Slickpix


Gearing up for the Gold Coast Magic Millions which kicks off next Wednesday (12 January), Breednet had this to say about BEL ESPRIT (below) in its article entitled The Sires on Fire: Bel Esprit is on the rise owing to a big EI spike that will give him the numbers to be a serious player in coming seasons, not to mention the fact he has the best turf sprinter in the world in Black Caviar.


BEL ESPRIT was more active over the Christmas/New Year period than Santa Claus with three doubles in successive days from 30 December to 1 January.
Bellatina and Canna (his second win of the month) got the ball rolling on the 30th before Silver Bullion and La Bella Roo kicked in with a truly memorable double at the Valley on the last day of the year.
And just to round it out, Coco Bel and Esprit Citi got 2011 off to a great start and it could have easily been a treble with Colin Little’s Work The Room putting in a blinder at headquarters.
December was indeed a big month for Victoria’s Champion Sire and the guru, Brian Donohoe, has again summed it up perfectly on the Bel Esprit Winners Club blog: “November was a record month with 20 wins, but in December Bel Esprit tallied 23 wins … all on Australian tracks, 13 in Victoria.
“Newcomer of the month had to be Bel Sprinter (Mornington) while Bellantina’s win at second prep was very exciting (both will win in the city!) … 14 races were won over 1107m or less while Belgietto’s win over 1630m was the longest … the ‘boys’ won out during the month – 13 wins to 10 – and there were eight wins for horses starting with the letter ‘B’.”
Now tell me that isn’t dedication to the cause!


GOD’S OWN colt Utah Saints joined the city elite at Flemington on Saturday (1 January) with a resounding victory in the Williamstown Handicap over 1400m.
The Matty Ellerton/Simon Zahra trained 3YO is simply getting better with age, having won two on the trot at Kyneton when resuming in October and followed up with a fourth at Caulfield and a gutsy third at headquarters in the lead up to Saturday’s victory.
Utah Saints (named, we think, after the British dance band) has now crossed the $100k threshold and clearly has it all in front of him.
Bred by David Kobritz’s DHK Investments, Utah Saints was sold for $150,000 at the 2009 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale and is out of the Flemington stakes placed Maroof mare, Hard Rider.
Utah Saints is a half brother to three winners and hails from the family of Group One winners Hello Dolly, She’s a Meanie and Art Success.

Utah Saints scores at Flemington  - photo courtesy of Slickpix


BEL ESPRIT’s Toowoomba flyer, Canna, can lay claim to foaling down at one of the most picturesque corners of the globe, but sadly experienced – from an early age – the slings and arrows that this industry can throw at you.
Bred at Kevin and Tanith O’Brien’s Lauriston Farm at Corinella (on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula), Canna’s mum – the First Norman mare, Carnlough – died after giving birth. Henceforth, bub required some extra TLC from team Lauriston.
Whatever they did and how they did it has obviously paid dividends with the now Queensland-based Canna winning the last two of his five outings after resuming with a second in early December.
Originally campaigning in Victoria for Ricky Maund, Canna did little to come under notice and was eventually switched to the sunnier climes of Neville Saunders’ stables.
From there he’s blossomed with the initial second on Toowoomba’s cushion track followed by a rampaging five panel plus victory over 1300m on 23 December.
Canna then rounded out the year with an equally imposing romp over the 1200m on 30 December and now appears set to journey into the big smoke for his next assignment.
Canna is named after the O’Briens’ close friend and leading industry photographer, Bruno Cannatelli, a fact which the happy snapper is considerably proud of.
“Canna’s stable name was Bruno and Kevin and Tanith wanted to use that as his race name,” our intrepid paparazzi points out. “However, the name was unavailable and then they wanted to call him Cannatelli, but I didn’t fancy the tax man chasing me. So, they settled on Canna – which was my nickname playing footy.
“Take my word for it, this is a really good horse. Forget the winning margins … it was the way he won that really stands out … he’s got plenty of ability. Just like his namesake!” Bruno adds tongue in cheek.
It beggars belief that you would name a horse after someone whose declared form extends to a 50 metre dash chasing good sorts across the mounting yard, but there you go.
Weight might stop a train, but clearly not names!

The original Canna - he's in our Hall of Fame!