Wednesday, August 24, 2011


A unique event has marked the beginning of the 2011 Victorian thoroughbred breeding season with racehorse breeders, owners and enthusiasts from around the state converging at Caulfield Racecourse for the Stallions Come to Town Parade.
The parade featured five of Victoria’s first season stallions including Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver and former English sprinting star Equiano.
Speaking at the parade, Minister for Racing Denis Napthine said the Victorian thoroughbred breeding industry was on the up helping to attract new investment and generate new jobs across the state, particularly in regional areas.
“Australia’s current world champion, Black Caviar by the great stallion Bel Esprit, was born, bred and raised right here in Victoria providing a massive boost to the state’s vital breeding sector,” Dr Napthine said.

“And, for the first time in more than a decade, a Victorian sire Written Tycoon took the award for Australia’s leading first season sire in 2010-11.

“Victorian racing is strong both on and off the track and the thoroughbred breeding industry plays a major role in achieving that success. We have more than 2,000 registered breeders operating here in Victoria, producing around 4,000 foals a year

“It is a great pleasure to be here at the Stallions Come to Town Parade and join the thoroughbred breeding industry in inspecting some of the stallions which will stand in Victoria this season,” Dr Napthine said.

Dr Napthine said the Victorian Coalition Government was a firm supporter of the breeding industries across all racing codes and recognised the employment benefits breeding generates around the state.
“The Victorian Coalition Government has committed $10 million over a four-year period to support breeding and sales across all racing codes. Thousands of people are employed in this industry and we are dedicated to ensuring Victoria continues to be a prominent player in the international breeding industry,” Dr Napthine said.

- Media Release

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


THE not-for-sale sign remains outside Jason Warren's stables, home of unbeaten Bel Sprinter.
Warren and connections of Bel Sprinter turned down a seven-figure offer, believed to be from Hong Kong, for the exciting sprinting son of Bel Esprit.
The group met on Friday with the outcome they would press ahead racing Bel Sprinter, who made it four wins from as many starts in a Listed Race at Caulfield on August 13.
"There have been plenty of offers, but at this stage we're not really interested," Warren said. "He can only do what he's done. We think he's pretty smart and hopefully he can go on to win a nice race.
"Warren said interest in the four-year-old had grown from the time he won his maiden at Mornington.
"You have to have a flag-bearer and this horse certainly helps," the young Mornington Peninsula trainer said.
Bel Sprinter runs next in the 1200m Bobbie Lewis Quality at Flemington on Saturday week.
Adrian Dunn, Herald Sun, 23 August

Monday, August 22, 2011


Eliza Park’s Open Day is again promising to be a bumper event with some 350 enthusiasts poised to view our lineup of 12 stallions – including newcomers Astronomer Royal, Dissolved and Super Saver – plus indulged in food, drink and entertainment from 1pm this Friday (26 August).
For the second year running, there will also be an industry expo with a number of marquees displaying the wares of major industry suppliers, and you will also have the opportunity to bid ‘live’ for nominations in the Eliza Park / Living Legends Online Auction.
The forecast (depending on who you listen to) is for good weather – albeit not quite ‘balmy’ – and to book your spot please phone Tracey Doolan on 03 5428 5168 or email


Don’t forget that the Eliza Park / Living Legends Online Auction closes this Friday (26 August) at 3pm.
The online auction is both a wonderful opportunity to help a worthy cause in Living Legends and a chance to pick up a nom under the odds.
Click here to place your tender.

Champion First Season Sire Written Tycoon is just one of the noms up for grabs


Rob Crabtree, the owner of Magnus (below), is generously donating a 2011 service nomination to his highly rated stallion prospect to raise funds for champion jumps jockey Brett Scott.
The nomination will be auctioned at a testimonial lunch for the hurt hoop at Moonee Valley tomorrow.
To be hosted by TVN presenter and racing personality Bruce Clark, the lunch will celebrate Scott's feats on the racetrack and support Brett and his family amid his rehabilitation process.
Scott, a 3-time winner of the Tommy Corrigan Medal with victories in nearly every major jumps race on the calendar, has not ridden since a fall at Yarra Valley last October.
Brett is currently an in-patient at a rehabilitation unit undergoing extensive therapy after spinal surgery in June.
In a distinguished career as one of his generation's premier jumps hoops, Scott has tasted major success on multiple occasions in Warrnambool’s Grand Annual Steeplechase (four times), Oakbank’s Great Eastern Steeplechase (five), Australian Steeplechase (four), Hiskens Steeplechase (three) and the Grand National Hurdle (two).
Scott has also showcased his talents on the world stage, claiming a historical ‘three-peat’ of Japan’s Nakayama Grand Jump aboard world-beater Karasi.
Given the prowess of Magnus’ first crop in the sale ring this year - up to $130k in Melbourne, $120k on the Gold Coast and topping the Sydney Classic with a $170k filly - he should be a popular item on the auction sheet.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Super return to racing for Written Tycoon flyer, Trump, who produced a knock out blow to rivals in the Bundaberg Distillling QTIS 3YO Handicap at Eagle Farm on Wednesday.
It was Trump’s first run since April and his second win in Brisbane after scoring at Doomben in March.
More importantly though, it was a clear demonstration that Written Tycoon has no intention of resting on his laurels after being the first Victorian based stallion in over a decade to capture the Australian First Season Sires’ premiership.
Owned – in part – by Iskander Racing, Suman Hedge and Eliza Park, Trump is clearly above average and, according to his trainer Robert Heathcote, this is a very talented racehorse: “I thought he would run a blinder and he has done just that. It was a perfect ride from Larry (Cassidy) and everything went exactly to plan.
“Written Tycoon will definitely get the job done and I have a few others that also look to have the goods!”

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Bel Sprinter made it four wins from as many starts when demolishing his rivals in the Regal Roller Stakes (Listed, 1200m) at Caulfield, en route to becoming the 13th stakeswinner for his sire Bel Esprit.
Bel Sprinter is out of the winning Snippets mare Gavroche and the combination of Bel Esprit (Royal Academy) and Snippets (Lunchtime) is looking extremely effective. The Arion Pedigrees report shows 17 named foals bred on this cross, nine have raced and all nine have won for two stakeswinners.
In addition to Bel Sprinter, Vivacious Spirit won the How Now Stakes (Gr 3, 1200m) and there are five metropolitan winners – Snip Esprit, Beleconi, Striding Success, Babieca Noire and Ibsen.
The Snippets connection is further consolidated with the son of Lunchtime (GB) featuring as the maternal grandsire of Bel Esprit’s best performer to date in Black Caviar, last season’s juvenile stakeswinner City Of Song and the Group 2 placed Audacious Spirit.
In addition to this cross, Bel Sprinter is inbred to Nijinsky, Northern Dancer and Silly Season within his first five generations.
Gavroche is a half-sister to the French stakes performer Azelna (Tropular), the dam of the North American Listed winner Macias (Purge). Bel Sprinter’s granddam La Miserable (USA) is a Miswaki half-sister to Always Aloof (Alleged), who won the Prix Gladiateur (Gr 3, 3100m) in France before coming to Australia and winning the Underwood Stakes (Gr 1, 1800m) at Caulfield.
Bel Sprinter’s third-dam Miranda is by Forli and a half-sister to the Italian Listed winner River Jig (Irish River), dam of the Group 2 winning filly Dance Parade (Gone West) and granddam of the Prix de la Foret (Gr 1, 1400m) winner Toylsome (Cadeaux Genereux).
Bel Sprinter traces directly to the influential broodmare Monarchy, his sixth-dam. By the champion broodmare sire Princequillo out of equally influential Knight’s Daughter (Sir Cosmo), Monarchy won the Alcibiades and Arlington Lassie Stakes. And while she was a good racehorse it is as a broodmare that she has exerted an influence that is still felt today.
Her son Fabled Monarch (Le Fabuleux) won the Lexington Handicap (Gr 2, 9f) and her daughter Title (Bold Ruler) was second in the Spinaway Stakes (Gr 1, 6f). Another son Imperialist (Bold Ruler) stood at stud in New Zealand with mixed results while another daughter State left four Graded winners in North America including Narrate (Honest Pleasure), the granddam of Fountain Of Youth Stakes (Gr 2, 8f) winner and successful sire Pulpit (A PIndy).
Narrate is also the granddam of Phoenix Stakes (Gr 1, 6f) winner Minardi (Boundary) and King’s Bishop Stakes (Gr 2, 7f) winner and successful sire Tale Of The Cat (Storm Cat) and the third-dam of World Champion Juvenile of 2001 in Johannesburg (Hennessy).
- Pedigree Page (by Darryl Sherer) ANZ Bloodstock News

Monday, August 15, 2011


 Don’t forget the Eliza Park Open Day on Friday 26 August from 1pm. This is what industry doyen, Brian Russell, had to say in his weekly newsletter.

Newcomers who were world class racehorses are to be among stallions on show when Lee Fleming’s Eliza Park conducts its open day – highlighted by parades of sires – on Friday 26 August.
A spectacular newcomer to be on show is Super Saver (USA), decisive winner last year of the Kentucky Derby and at two annexer of the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes by five lengths and in new stakes record time.
A first class outcross for Danehill, Super Saver is by former champion American 2YO Maria’s Mon (Raise a Native male line) and from the La Troienne family mare Supercharger, a daughter of A.P. Indy and the Mr. Prospector Group winner Get Lucky.
Super Saver is one of four shuttle sires who will be on show at Eliza Park.
The others are Astronomer Royal (USA) (Danzig – Sheepscot, by Easy Goer), the 2007 French Two Thousand Guineas winner; Bushranger (IRE) (Danetime – Danz Danz, by Efisio), a dual Group One winner in England and France at two; and established winner getter Statue of Liberty (USA) (Storm Cat – Charming Lassie, by Seattle Slew). He is the sire of Hay List and Mic Mac.
All told Eliza Park has a dozen sires available this year, two of the others being Black Caviar’s sire Bel Esprit (Royal Academy (USA) – Bespoken, by Vain) and close relation Magnus (Flying Spur – Scandinavia, by Snippets).


Some ‘nicks’ just work and one that is definitely gaining momentum is the Bel Esprit x Snippets cross, as Breednet’s Tara Madgwick points out.

This cross is working, so don’t ignore the obvious.
With four wins in as many starts culminating in a three length romp to victory in the Listed MRC 60th Anniversary National Services Stakes, up and coming speedster Bel Sprinter has stamped himself as the next rising star for leading Victorian sire Bel Esprit.
A homebred for part-owner Glen Bailey, Bel Sprinter is the first foal of the Snippets mare Gavroche, whose dam is the imported La Miserable (USA), a half-sister to Australian Group I winner Always Aloof, who won the Group I VATC Underwood Stakes in 1997.
Bel Sprinter is the 13th stakes-winner for Eliza Park based Bel Esprit (below), who is coming off his best ever season in 2010/2011 with 112 winners of $7.2 million and a superstar flagbearer in unbeaten sprint star Black Caviar.
Interestingly, both Black Caviar and Bel Sprinter carry the blood of Snippets on their dam side: Bel Sprinter from a mare by Snippets and Black Caviar from Helsinge, a mare whose dam Scandinavia is by Snippets.
The Bel Esprit x Snippets cross has been remarkably successful, producing nine runners to date, all of them winners with Bel Sprinter joined by Vivacious Spirit as stakes winners.
There have been a further two winners from two runners bred by Bel Esprit from mares sired by sons of Snippets, adding further merit to the cross.
Taking it a step further and looking at the Black Caviar example, ie. Bel Esprit over mares whose dams are by Snippets, and we find five to race and five winners with Black Caviar joined by stakes winner City of Song and Group Two placed Audacious Spirit.
There seems to be an undeniable affinity between Bel Esprit and Snippets based on these statistics, something well worth considering for broodmare owners of mares carrying Snippets blood and yearling buyers seeking to find an edge.

All statistics courtesy of Arion and their Grid Nicking report.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


The National Service Stakes-LR at Caulfield yesterday could well be a portent for Eliza Park ‘sired’ speedsters, Bel Sprinter (Bel Esprit) and Utah Saints (God’s Own), who provided a 1-2 finish in the $100k scamper.
In a lineup which boasted a plethora of talent (13 of the other 14 runners had won 22 stakes races between them and eight with earnings in excess of $500,000), Bel Sprinter emerged as genuine talent, while Utah Saints franked earlier form with a gutsy second.
Stakes winner No. 13 for Bel Esprit, the unbeaten Bel Sprinter was a force of nature, racing away to score by three lengths and giving trainer Jason Warren plenty to think about in terms of the spring carnival.
Considering the dominance of his victory, an ambitious tilt at Group Ones would hardly be deemed a tilt at windmills.
The sole runner thus far for winning mare Gavroche, Bel Sprinter joins Vivacious Spirit as Bel Esprit stakes winners out of Snippets mares (Black Caviar’s dam, Helsinge, is also out of a Snippets mare in Scandinavia).
Bred by Glen Bailey, Bel Sprinter’s dam, Gavroche, hails from the family of Alleged’s Underwood Stakes-G1 winner Always Aloof (also a Group winner in France) and was covered again last season by Bel Esprit.
Meanwhile, Utah Saints’ fighting second garnered plenty of fans for the God’s Own first cropper.
Having won convincingly at Flemington on New Year’s Day, Utah Saints produced three placings at Caulfield before being tipped out at the end of March.
The Mathew Ellerton/Simon Zahra trained bay has clearly matured into a fine athlete and the training pair have high hopes that he’ll add some more black type this spring.
Bel Esprit will stand this season at a fee of $27,500 while stablemate God’s Own – who stands at Eliza Park in conjunction with Yallambee Stud – stands for $13,750.


“Bel Sprinter naturally draws comparisons to champion Black Caviar and he looked worthy of that accolade with a scintillating display of speed.”
- Breednet

Hes pretty classy this bloke, its very exciting.”
- Jason Warren

“Bel Sprinter showed he is a sprinter of Group One potential.”
- ANZ Bloodstock News

“He has a mammoth cruising speed.”
- Jockey Ben Melham (who rode Black Caviar in the Patinack Classic)

“Victorian-based Bel Esprit’s reputation as the most exciting sprinting sire in the land was further franked when Bel Sprinter stretched his unbeaten streak to four at Caulfield on Saturday.”
- Racing Victoria

Saturday, August 13, 2011

SUPER CHARGED interviews WinStar Farm's Elliot Walden following Super Saver's victory in the 2010 Kentucky Derby.
The WinStar VP goes on to give some interesting insights into the "exploding" family of Super Saver and there is footage of his dam Supercharger - interestingly with his foal at foot that topped the Saratoga Sale last week when purchased by Sheikh Mohammed for $1.2 million.
Walden also talks about the early success at stud of Bluegrass Cat, out of Supercharger's full sister She's a Winner.

Friday, August 12, 2011


A liking of the Without Fear line set  breeder David Strain on a path that led from hobby breeder to where we all aspire to be – the winners circle at racing’s headquarters, Flemington.
Purchasing from the Southwick family (successful owners of such outstanding gallopers as the Caulfield Cup winner Sobar) a daughter of Without Fear in the mid 1990s, Strain – who at that stage raced just a couple of horses with Wodonga trainer Lloyd Park – became a breeder.
The mare’s name was Beth and whilst, during a short career (she died foaling in 2001), she managed to produce just two horses to get to the track, both were winners and one, the four times winning Rokosz mare Yarraliss, is dam of one of Victoria’s most promising fillies.
That filly is Bolisimo Miss (below), a daughter of Bel Esprit who, having been given time to mature after a debut sixth at Sandown in late January, burst into the scene over the winter months winning three races in a row.
Breaking her maiden in easy style at Cranbourne in mid-June, the Ellerton/Zahra trained bay stepped straight up to city class – recording two soft victories down the Flemington straight.
And it is those wins that earned David Strain the title North East Thoroughbreds’ Super VOBIS High Achiever.
“This is a great privilege,” Strain said. “Everyone battles for a good horse and when it turns up it’s a real pleasure.”
Breeding with seven mares at a property “just across the creek from Wangaratta racecourse,” Strain is excited by every foal that arrives – “with every new horse there is a chance that this could be the one!”
Early on Strain was told by breaker Craig Dickson that Bolisimo Miss was one out of the box – “after his second ride he told me she was a good horse,” he recalled, “a smooth and powerful ride.”
Visited by Mathew Ellerton last weekend, Bolisimo Miss will enjoy another four weeks in the paddock before a brief spring campaign with feature races over the autumn pencilled in.
- Kristen Manning


In this week’s Victorian Thoroughbred Newsletter (click here to subscribe), Kristen Manning has profiled successful Victorian breeders Darren and Liz Dance.

“Being at the right place at the right time.”

We all know that the horse racing game is one that relies so heavily on luck and it was just one stroke of good fortune that changed Darren and Elizabeth Dance’s life some 21 years ago.
Not particularly interested in thoroughbred racehorses, at that time – busy preparing their wedding and having just one share in standardbred as a hobby – the Dances had no intention of becoming involved, but fate decided to take a hand.
“I was driving home with a work colleague one day and he asked if I minded stopping at the yearling sales,” Darren said, having never been to a sale before.
It was at that Inglis Autumn Sale that Darren happened to meet Mark Riley whose eye had been caught by a Jugah colt. He watched on as interest as the trainer putting in a winning bid of $8,500, noting the excitement a new addition to the stable bought.
Thinking about it on the way home, Darren made a phone call that night and he was soon a first time racehorse owner.
A classic case of beginner’s luck ensued – at his first start the colt, who raced by the name of Mookta, winning a Yarra Glen 2YO Handicap by six lengths and racing on to Group One success in the Newmarket Handicap and the Oakleigh Plate.
There is nothing like elite level success to get under one’s skin and before they knew it Darren and Elizabeth had more horses, moving onto breeding and producing Mookta’s best runner, the dual Group winning mare Skewiff.
Also breeders of the Hobart Cup winner True Courser and high class mare Rue Maple, the Dances are again enjoying success with Uxorious – runaway winner of last Saturday’s Group Three Spring Stakes at Morphettville.
The winner of over $287,000 in stakes, Uxorious is a horse who always impressed connections – “he was always a nice foal,” Darren recalled, “and quiet, you could do anything with him.”
Keen breeders who have some 25 foals due this spring (Uxorious’ dam Shiny Mai due any day), the Dances run Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock, syndicating the horses they breed.
One they are particularly excited about is Uxorious’ half brother by Bel Esprit, an eye-catching 3YO who is being given plenty of time to find his feet: “he is a cracking type,” Darren enthused.
Uxorious’ dam Shiny Mai had just the three starts for Caulfield trainer Alan Bailey and it was upon visiting the stables one morning that Darren happened to secure her.
“He told me I should buy her, that he’d regretted pushing her a bit early and that she had plenty of ability. It proved a good move!”
Darren & Elizabeth retain a share in every horse they sell, something they realise is not necessarily a good commercial decision: “but we wouldn’t do it any other way, we are not in it for the money, we are in it for the fun of it!”

Editor’s note: The Dances also syndicated (and race) Statue of Liberty’s 2YO stakes winner, Broadway Harmony.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Well done to Jessica Birnie, Foaling Manager at Eliza Park Northwood, a much deserved winner of the Young Achiever Award at the recent North East Thoroughbred Breeders Awards night.
Following is a brief profile of Jess which appeared in a previous issue of Eliza Park’s newsletter.

It takes a special kind of person to trudge around paddocks in the pitch black during the middle of winter!
For those of us who keep our seats warm during daylight hours, the stroke of midnight is usually reserved for snoring, but that’s often the time when Jessica Birnie is just getting into full stride.
The Foal Unit Manager at Eliza Park Northwood, Jess doesn’t see much daylight during those first months of spring, working from dark to dawn at a farm that now welcomes in over 250 new arrivals each year.
But don’t worry too much about Jess ...
“I love it. You never get tired of seeing the new babies … I’m a real animal lover to begin with so I don’t care whether it’s horses, lambs or cattle: you never really get tired of seeing them born.”
And while Jess admits that a lot of people would fail to see the ‘glamour’ side of her role at Eliza Park, she quickly dispels the myth that it’s a matter of flicking on the tower lights and sitting next to the heater all night.
“Despite the lighting setup at Eliza offering very good coverage, mares have a tendency to seek out the darkest corners of the paddock when they are about to foal.
“You won’t often see a mare beginning to sweat up so you do quite a bit of walking around the paddocks to see where a lot of them are at.
“In fact, during September and October you are probably on the edge of your seat all night.”
Busiest night?
“We’ve had up to five foal some nights and even without any problems you have keep a fairly close eye on them for a couple of hours: to make sure they’re on their feet, passed their meconium (i.e. first bowel movement) and getting enough colostrum (mother’s milk).
“Still, everyone knows where to find me at night time!”
Jess wasn’t born in to a horsey family per se, but did take up riding at age six and it’s been in her blood ever since.
Obtaining her stable hand certificate from Racing Victoria at 17, Jess worked as a strapper for leading Melbourne trainer Tony Vasil before doing yearling prep with the famous Widden Stud in 2005.
In 2006, Jess successfully completed a Diploma of Equine Stud Management at Goulburn Ovens TAFE whereupon she was awarded a scholarship with the Irish National Stud.
Jess worked a spell at Eliza Park before heading to Ireland where she finished her course in the top 10 and was offered a position at the National Stud preparing yearlings and acting as foaling supervisor.
Indeed, at the National Stud, the student became the teacher, imparting the fundamentals of foaling to the next breeding course students.
Returning to Australia, Jess worked the sales season at Arrowfield Stud before heading back to Eliza Park and three full seasons in the foaling unit and post natal care.
“Eliza Park’s a great place to work: everyone is very focused on what they do, but you have a lot of fun as well.
“And you get to meet someone ‘new’ every night!”


Looking for a Father’s Day present? Chantilly Dawns is a good read from author Lissa Oliver who has been described by the Irish Field as Ireland’s answer to Dick Francis.
You can order the paperback version from Book Republic, get a signed copy from Lissa or order it as a Kindle ebook from
Cost is $23 which includes postage.


Michael Ford, Keeper of the Australian Stud Book, reminds breeders that the official covering season for Thoroughbreds commences 1 September. The progeny of any stallion covering mares prior to this date will be recorded as foals of the 2011 season rather than the 2012 season. The progeny of any Thoroughbreds produced artificially will not be accepted into the Australian Stud Book nor the Australian Non Thoroughbred Register.
Some 31,137 Thoroughbred mares are active in Australia and there are 146 mares in the Non Thoroughbred Register, mares which have ancestors not returned to the Stud Book. Ford expects 24,000 of these mares to be covered by 700 Thoroughbred stallions, adding that the produce of Non Thoroughbred stallions have not been accepted since 1992. To date, 640 stallions have been returned compared with 674 this time last year, but late notifications are expected to push the total to 700.
Ten years ago in 2001, 1,135 stallions were listed for stud duties, and of those, 24% or 262 were from the Star Kingdom line, including 165 from Biscay’s branch of which 75 were Bletchingly descendants. For 2011, there are only 35 descendants of Star Kingdom standing at stud, a loss of 22 from last year. Of these, 35 descend from Biscay, the best being Show A Heart.
Ten years ago, there were 109 descendants of Danzig, 49 of which were by Danehill, his popularity growing year by year. For 2011, there are 232 sons, grandsons or great-grandsons of Danzig, the same as last year. These include 188 Danehills: 86 his sons, 102 his grandsons: 37% of all stallions standing descend from Danzig, including 30% from Danehill which had 26% last year.
The Native Dancer line, which includes Mr. Prospector’s descendants had 91 on the roll in 2001 or 8%. For 2011 this line has decreased to 72 with an increased share of 11%. The Better Boy line now only has 10 representatives, all descendants of his son Century. Gone also from 10 years ago is the old staying line of Blandford, and the famous St. Simon line.
Finally, the influence of the 1935 Italian-born colossus Nearco continues to dominate. Of the 640 stallions, 473 descend from him through his sons Royal Charger (Sir Tristram–Zabeel), Nasrullah (Bold Ruler, Grey Sovereign, Red God), and his dominating grandson Northern Dancer. Nearco actually had 537 descendants in 2001, and they comprised 50% of all stallions at stud and this has now increased to 75. Nearco is several generations removed from the current group of stallions, which means the various branches which descend from him provide variability for the thousands of mares with Northern Dancer in their pedigrees.
- ANZ Bloodstock News

In 2010, 71 stallions in Australia covered 100 mares or more, including Eliza Park sires Written Tycoon (198 mares), Statue of Liberty (130), Sharkbite (130), Magnus (121) and Bel Esprit (113).
Written Tycoon (below) was the third most popular stallion and certainly the most popular in Victoria: faith which has been repaid in droves by the flashy chestnut taking out the 2010/11 Australian First Season Sires’ premiership.


Jane Henning is not just a pretty face (something sadly, which I’ve never been accused of!). Her analysis company, Pedigree Dynamics, provides ‘inspiration’ to the stars and over the years, has planned the matings of well over 100 stakes performers including Golden Slipper winner Belle du Jour.
Recently Jane provided, via her blog, the good oil on stallions standing between $0-$16,500 and from $16,501-$38,500 and we’re happy to report that Super Saver and Bel Esprit made the grade respectively.
Following is Jane’s take on the pair:

SUPER SAVER - A first season model, this son of top international sire Maria's Mon adds some interest to the gene pool in Victoria. A very fast stakes winning juvenile, he followed through as the 2010 Kentucky Derby winner before retiring to Winstar Farm, where he covered 140 mares this season. His damsire is A.P. Indy and his second damsire is Mr. Prospector. He himself is a direct member of the LA TROIENNE family and he carries a further six lines to this prepotent ancestress throughout his pedigree. Not only should he provide an outcross to the Danehill line, but it will be interesting putting Mr. Prospector sire line mares to him as this will create a sex balanced duplication of this icon. He stands at $16,500 at Eliza Park Stud.

BEL ESPRIT – Yes, he is the sire of BLACK CAVIAR and her deeds did catapult him into 6th place on the Leading Sires by Earnings List 10/11. He did however, also finish 7th on the Leading sires by Winners list.  His stats are actually very similar to those of More Than Ready for the same season, the latter finishing 5th on the ‘Earnings’ list and 9th on the ‘Winner’s’ list. At a stud fee of $27,500, this son of Royal Academy has 12 stakes winners to-date.  Of those, six of those create line breeding to Vain (including BLACK CAVIAR) or to Vain’s damsire, Orgoglio. A further three stakes winners create line breeding to  Nijinsky II’s ancestress, TORPENHOW via The Minstrel, Try My Best or Umatilla.  Bel Esprit stands in Victoria at Eliza Park Stud at a fee of $27,500.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


This from the desk of Brian Russell … yet another illustration of how potent Statue of Liberty’s family is.

Lassie Dear, one of the world’s leading matriarchs of recent years, had her influence for sires demonstrated again in Australia on July 30 when 5YO American bred mare Lovingthelimelight was successful over 2020m at Doomben.
Purchased by her trainer Paul Jenkins, for $110,000 as a yearling at Keeneland, Lovingthelimelight is a very fashionably bred daughter of Lemon Drop Kid: a champion racehorse by one of Mr. Prospector’s best sires, Kingmambo, and Charming Lassie, a Seattle Slew mare out of Lassie Dear.
The breeding makes Lemon Drop Kid, a sire of six Group One winners, a half-brother to the Eliza Park located Statue of Liberty (pictured below), the sire of Hay List and Mic Mac. In addition, the dam Charming Lassie is a three-quarter sister to Love Me True, the Kingmambo dam of Duke of Marmalade, a Danehill Ireland bred world class middle distance performer on his third visit this year to Coolmore, Hunter Valley.
Other close relations to Lemon Drop Kid have included American champion racehorse and super sire A.P. Indy and Australian sires Bite the Bullet, Foxhound and Spectacular Spy.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


A half brother to 2010 Kentucky Derby winner and Eliza Park stallion, Super Saver, has topped the opening session of Fasig Tipton’s Saratoga Select Yearling Sale in upstate New York when knocked down to Sheikh Mohammed for $1.2 million.
Despite the dip in the Dow it appears there’s dough for the right horse and, according to Sheikh Mohammed’s agent, John Ferguson, the yearling colt from AP Indy mare, Supercharger has it all: “I’ve said it before, but it’s incredibly difficult to breed a horse who looks like that.
“He’s just an outstanding athlete who showed himself off time and time again.
“Obviously the mare has produced a Kentucky Derby winner (Super Saver), but not only that, we have a Group One winner in Girolamo, who is one of our most exciting stallion prospects. He’s in the (yearling’s) pedigree … it’s a fantastic family!”
Clearly Ferguson will have fingers crossed that his latest acquisition can match the deeds of his half brother Super Saver.
Described by trainer Todd Pletcher as “his fastest 2YO”, Super Saver won the 83rd Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes-G2 by five lengths (in stakes record time) before going on at three to take out the 136th edition of the Kentucky Derby.
“We have fielded considerable interest in Super Saver since it was announced he would be standing at Eliza Park this spring,” Eliza Park’s Nominations Manager, Mark Lindsay, points out. “It’s hardly surprising when you consider the success of Kentucky Derby winners in this country (within the past three decades, Kentucky Derby winners boast a greater percentage of stakes winners to runners in the southern hemisphere than Golden Slipper winners!).
“He (Super Saver) was also very popular in his first season at WinStar Farm in Kentucky, covering 140 mares – 100 of those either stakes performed or the dams of stakes performers and 10 of those being Group One winners.
“But it’s also the pedigree and athleticism that John Ferguson alluded to when they spoke to him at Saratoga.
“Super Saver’s not only a cracking type … he really does hail from the first family of American thoroughbred breeding. Seven strains of La Troienne! And his first four dams are by AP Indy, Mr Prospector, Northern Dancer and Buckpasser.
“And we’re not talking ancient history either: Super Saver won the Derby last year, his half brother Brethren was a Group winner this year and Girolamo – that Ferguson mentioned – won a Group One at Belmont last November.
“It just goes to show that even though the stock market is wreaking havoc, people are prepared to pay for class.”

Super Saver stands at Eliza Park at an introductory fee of $16,500.
For further information, phone Mark Lindsay on 0416 334 338 or Phil Marshall on 0407 853 782.

Monday, August 8, 2011


First sighting of a Magnus foal this breeding season is a bouncing filly from the stakes winning Mister C mare, Timeless Winds, who touched down at Yallambee Stud yesterday.
This lass has quite a bit to live up to with Timeless Winds having already produced seven winners from eight to race including Dance The Waves, a multiple Group winner in Sydney and Melbourne, the stakes placed Restless Wind, plus city winners Thunder Time, Elmsford, Sincengarni, South African winner Sudden Time and Hong Kong winner Top Top Light.
Timeless Winds was certainly no slouch with nine victories to her name – including stakes wins in Sydney and Brisbane – while other members of the family include Flight Stakes winner Candy Floss, 2YO Group One winner I Like Diamonds and Group One Classic winner Chipolata.
Magnus’ first crop has just turned two and are now resident in the nation’s leading stables, selling up to $130,000 in Melbourne, $120,000 on the Gold Coast and topping the Sydney Inglis Classic with his filly fetching $170,000.

The Magnus x Timeless Winds filly at 5 days old. Photo courtesy of Christie Woodard at Yallambee Stud.


Nice profile on Living Legends from Thoroughmedia.


Sunday, August 7, 2011


“The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that's the way to bet.”
- Damon Runyon

Monday, August 1, 2011


The MCG has been the scene of many a great triumph, but for Eliza Park it was, in a sense, it’s biggest night out.
Eliza Park almost made a clean sweep of the 2010/11 Victorian Owners and Breeders Awards when Bel Esprit (above) took out the Sirecam Champion Victorian Stallion and Written Tycoon (below) the Stable Financial First Season Sire.
And there was many a vicarious thrill to be had too with Black Caviar’s owners grabbing the TROA Metropolitan Owners gong, while Rick Jamieson’s Gilgai Farm snapped up the Stu-Art Graphics Champion Broodmare with Helsigne, which was bred and sold by Eliza Park.
What’s more, Eliza Park ‘smithy’ John Pittard was bestowed the Leading Small Breeder Award for ‘arranging’ triple Group One winner Yosei … an honour he shared with Tarcoola Stud (breeders of dual 10/11 Group One winner Sacred Choice).
The relevance of such awards cannot be understated: certainly the trophies look nice in the ‘pool room’, but it’s sobering to gauge the strides Eliza Park has made in a relatively short period.
In just over a decade, Eliza Park has now accepted four consecutive, record-equalling, Victorian Sires’ titles with Bel Esprit, coupled with Written Tycoon’s efforts, who not only captured the state First Season premiership, but the national one as well.
The first Eliza Park bred progeny had yet to race at the time the last Victorian based sire won the Australian First Season Sires’ title!
It has been a memorable season to say the least … Black Caviar’s run has bolstered Bel Esprit’s stock globally but it’s essential to note that the World’s Best Racehorse is just one of the champ’s 112 winners for 2010/11 … three seasons ago he finished 82nd on the national chart by winners – this time around he’s in seventh spot.
In 2009/10, Bel Esprit was 21st on the earnings table and this year seventh … less than $14k off fifth spot. Amazing when you think he had $7.082 million in progeny earnings overall.
And let’s not forget Statue of Liberty and Hay List, providing Eliza Park with bragging rights to not only the world’s best racehorse, but arguably the world’s best male sprinter too.

PS. Our heartiest congratulations to two other award winners as well in Robbie Griffiths (left) and Shelly Hancox.
Robbie has been an outstanding supporter of Eliza Park over the years and, as Bel Esprit blogger Brian Donohoe’s stats show, one of the most successful trainers of Bel progeny. Indeed, Robbie’s Bel Esprit runners include Beltrois, Baltic Spirit, Anquetil, Cascabel, Chatrang and Spirit of Pompeii and his tally is 19 wins overall for $727,691 in stakes.
There are few as popular and none more genuine than the Cranbourne based trainer and his Super VOBIS Trainer of the Year award was well deserved.
And full kudos to Shelly Hancox (and to her offsider Rod Peacock for that matter) for taking out the TROA’s Contribution to Ownership … in a career which has spanned 25 years and 567 syndicated horses, Shelly has introduced 6,500 people into racehorse ownership. Fantastic Shelly!


Minister for Racing, Denis Napthine, has celebrated the success of Eliza Park and leading breeder Rick Jamieson for their winning run with World Champion racehorse Black Caviar at Friday night’s Victorian Owners and Breeders Awards.
Dr Napthine said the past racing season has seen truly remarkable feats both on Victorian racetracks and in the breeding barns of the state.
“World Champion Black Caviar, the progeny of Bel Esprit, was born and bred in Victoria and has been a truly magnificent showcase for the state’s breeding industry,” Dr Napthine said.
“The sheer dominance of Black Caviar’s undefeated run has captured the imagination of Australian racing enthusiasts and the public alike over the past year and her success has brought thousands of Australians to the racetrack to witness her legendary feats.
“It is a pleasure to congratulate boutique breeder Rick Jamieson, who has deservedly been crowned Victoria’s leading breeder. Mr Jamieson owns Black Caviar’s dam Helsinge, which has also been honoured with the title of Champion Victorian broodmare.
“Following the success of Black Caviar, Helsinge’s first foal, little brother Moshe also has a victorious story to share, winning on debut at Bendigo by six lengths.
“Mr Jamieson and Eliza Park Stud have done a fantastic job in breeding this mighty mare Black Caviar, rated the world’s best sprinter, going eight from eight over the past year with Group One wins across the country,” Dr Napthine said.
Dr Napthine said Bel Esprit was once again the pride of the Eliza Park Stud with a fourth successive title of Champion Victorian Stallion.
“Bel Esprit has sired 223 winners and has brought in earnings of over $17 million, including 11 stakes winners and eight stakes placegetters,” Dr Napthine said.
“Eliza Park Stud has also had another win with Written Tycoon being its first Champion Freshman Sire in more than 10 years. Written Tycoon has produced five individual winners with his first racing crop which includes stakes placegetters Masthead and Written Consent.
“Friday night’s awards celebrate the strength of Victorian breeding. A success that the Victorian Government strongly supports and will foster with a $10 million contribution over the next four years to the breeding and sales industry through the $79.5 million Victorian Racing Industry Fund,” Dr Napthine said.
Press Release from Racing Minister’s office


First of all, happy birthday to all the neddies and their owners: hopefully this year all your wishes will come true.
Now, falling into the category of everything you need to know but were afraid to ask, why is 1 August the horse’s birthday, or more precisely, who determined the date in the first place.
Surprisingly, Google produced a bit fat zero, but the Australian Stud Book Keeper, Michael Ford, has come to the rescue.
Over to you Michael …
In 1860 the Australian Jockey Club, on its own initiative, and against the resistance of other clubs, changed the official birthday of Thoroughbreds in Australia from 1 January to 1 August. Because mares come into season during the spring when Australian pastures start to grow, the Northern Hemisphere birth date of 1 January was not compatible with Australian conditions. Assigning one day of the year for the horses’ birthday also made it easy to schedule races with age conditions, particularly two-year old and three-year old events, rather than using the exact birthday of a horse. The AJC assumed racing leadership by also abolishing heats, in favour of races.
So there you have it … 151 years ago today (a year before the inaugural Melbourne Cup), we decided every thoroughbred would have his birthday on 1 August.


Nice yarn about breeder and owner, Peter Lord, from Kristen Manning’s Victorian Thoroughbred Newsletter last Friday.
Peter is a great supporter of Eliza Park and is enjoying deserved success … most recently via Bel Esprit sprinter, Cleaver.

It wasn’t till he was 16 or 17 that Peter Lord first ventured onto a racetrack, on one memorable day tagging along with his father to Flemington. From the second he walked through the gates he was hooked and, he says: “fortunately or maybe unfortunately I have been ever since!”
From thereon pleading with his dad to take him to the races, taken in “by the excitement of it all”, Lord has been not only an enthusiastic racegoer but a keen owner and breeder and his latest thrill was provided by promising 2YO Cleaver.
Last Sunday winning one of Victoria’s best two-year-old events, the Jack Maher Classic at Wodonga, Cleaver became Lord’s second winner of that race – the talented Mr O’Hara winning the same race at his second start back in 2003.
A horse Lord liked from the moment he was foaled, Cleaver – a son of Bel Esprit – was taken to the 2010 Melbourne Premier where a bid of $85,000 secured him for the Colin and Cindy Alderson stable.
“Cindy really took a shine to him,” Lord recalled – not taking much convincing to retain a share.
“He was one of the nicest horse I’ve bred so I was happy to keep 20%.”
There is sentimental attachment to Cleaver also, he being a son of Lord’s very first broodmare Mill Lady.
Purchasing the two times winning daughter of Straight Strike in foal to Brief Truce in 2001, Lord was instantly rewarded – her first foal Long War winning three races.
Since that time she has proven a solid producer – Low Deposit also a three times winner whilst Cleaver’s full brother Diplomatic Strike (pictured below) gave his breeder a few thrills – impressively winning two provincial races before being sold to Singapore where he won second up at Kranji.
Lord’s most exciting moments however came from the very quick but sadly very lightly raced filly I Got Chills.
“It was amazing, having a trainer tell you your filly is a good thing for the Slipper,” he said, still marvelling at the speed at which the daughter of General Nediym increased her value.
(Notably, General Nediym stood at Eliza Park when I Got Chills was conceived).
After selling I Got Chills for $45,000 at the Melbourne Premier, Lord received a phone call from Mark Pilkington informing him that the filly had failed the scope. The stable were patient however, willing to give her a few weeks to respond to treatment for a mild infection and she soon recovered.
Making a great financial decision, Lord decided to remain in the ownership and it wasn’t long before he was in the winner’s circle – at her first start I Got Chills a 4.5 length winner of the Listed Maribyrnong Trial at Flemington.
Within a few days a half share had been sold to Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum – placing an incredible value of $1.2 million on her – and at her next outing on Cox Plate Day she won another Listed race by seven lengths.
The joy soon turned to disappointment however: during the running I Got Chills chipping a bone in her knee. Unable to recapture her form after a long spell, she was sold to John Singleton for $540,000 – Lord again astounded by how his initial investment of a $7,000 service fee multiplied!
“Her career was shortlived but definitely exciting,” he said.
Currently in the ownership of several mares, Lord enjoys the challenges of breeding and racing, considering himself lucky to have been involved with some nice horses and to “have one sell for enough each year at the sales for us to keep our hand in.”
And, like all of us, he hopes the best is still to come, Lord particularly excited about an unraced Bel Esprit 2YO half brother to Mr O’Hara. In the meantime he is enjoying Cleaver’s career, hoping that his trainer’s assessment that there is plenty of scope for improvement is correct.
You can subscribe to the Victorian Thoroughbred Newsletter by emailing Kristen at