Sunday, July 24, 2011


Sexual discrimination has been around since Noah built his first dinghy, but while some mores have softened over time, the thoroughbred industry – certainly from a commercial perspective – has a clear preference for boys over girls.
Market forces and all that. No use having a whinge. Nothing can be done about it.
Well, maybe something can be done about it … in a fashion.
Leading thoroughbred stud, Eliza Park, has arrived at a rather unique way to deal with the ‘girl problem’ and at the same time assist breeders in the current economic climate.
Recently Eliza Park has announced a special FILLY BONUS to any broodmare owner who breed to any two of five nominated stallions for just $10,000 plus GST: Astronomer Royal, Bushranger, Dissolved, Sharkbite and Shinzig.
Novel sure, but here’s the clincher: if the mare produces a filly you get to send the mare back in 2012 … for FREE.
“It’s a well known fact that fillies can’t go stride for stride with colts in the sales ring,” Eliza Park’s Nominations Manager, Mark Lindsay, points out. “And obviously it’s no reflection on Eliza Park’s views in relation to the merits of gender. After all, Black Caviar is by Bel Esprit and Group One winners Bel Mer and Recurring were both bred on farm. And our foundation stallion, Desert Sun, is the sire of one of the greatest racemares of our time in Sunline.
“However, the reality is that when I phone a lot of broodmare owners to tell them their mare has just foaled, you can almost sense they are holding their breath as they wait to find out what the sex of the foal is.
“Still, the added bonus to the bonus, so to speak, is that there are a lot of owners out there that breed to race and would prefer a filly anyway.
“So, not only can they save up to $7,000 on service fees in 2011, they could theoretically send two mares again next year for free!
“And, we’d like to stress, ending up with a nice athletic type will still bring a good price, regardless of gender. A prime example was the recent Inglis Weanling Sale in Sydney when the highest priced of Sharkbite’s first crop weanlings was the filly from Pomeranz who was knocked down for $40,000 – eight times service fees.
“It was a similar story with another first season sire in Astronomer Royal whose filly from Treadmill realised $52,000 in Melbourne.
“Furthermore, each of the five stallions on offer boast considerable promise: Shinzig’s first 2YOs will race this spring, both Astronomer Royal and Sharkbite have highly acclaimed weanlings, the first of Bushranger’s Australian foals arrive this spring, and Dissolved is about to stand his first season at stud.
“There’s certainly huge upside for any breeder wanting to take up the filly bonus.”
Stud newcomers, Astronomer Royal and Dissolved, have generated a lot of interest, according to Lindsay and Bushranger “has produced some outstanding foals in Ireland this year”.
“The O’Callaghan family, which stand Bushranger at their Tally-Ho Stud, are over the moon with the reception that the son of Danetime has been getting,” Lindsay adds. “Bushranger covered an unprecedented book in Ireland for a first season sire and we’ve been told by Anne O’Callaghan that as soon as owners had a look at their Bushranger foals, they almost immediately re-booked the mare.
“They’re peas in a pod and we can’t wait for the first of his southern hemisphere foals to arrive in August. We see it time and time again on the farm … some breeders hold off until the first foals are on the ground then swoop. I’ve got a feeling the same will apply for Bushranger.
“There’s also been a lot of interest in Dissolved and it’s not difficult to work out why: his sire, Lonhro, is poised to take his first Australian Sires’ title and naturally he’s all the rage.
“Dissolved was a very good racehorse and as Team Hawkes pointed out to us, Dissolved is the closest that you’ll ever see to Lonhro in the looks department. Imagine what his foals/yearlings will sell for if he throws them to type?
“As mentioned previously, Astronomer Royal’s first lot of weanlings were very well received and since announcing he was coming on board, we’ve field a LOT of enquiries.
“I would expect – particularly with his inclusion in the filly bonus – that his book will fill very quickly.
“I’m confident that a lot of breeders will take up the filly bonus. It’s a win-win situation.”

For further information phone David Somers (0428 440 330), Mark Lindsay (0416 334 336) or Phil Marshall (0407 853 782).

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